What is an H-1B visa?

H-1B visas are non-immigrant visas specifically meant for workers who have specialty skills that require an advanced degree or training.

The process for obtaining the visa is highly competitive—applicants must gather and prepare all of the necessary documents and submit their petitions on April 1st each year.

This process can take some time and organization, so it is advisable for people preparing to file for an H-1B visa to work with an experienced immigration attorney to increase their chances of a successful application.

How does the H-1B application process work?

Once the USCIS approves an H-1B petition filed by an employer, the foreign worker is then able to get their H-1B visa stamped at an American embassy if abroad or change his or her status if already present in the United States. That visa is initially granted for three years in most cases, but can be renewed.

There are two major factors involved in the process: sponsorship by an employer based in the United States, and filing a petition with the USCIS.

Does the employer need to sponsor the H-1B petition for the employee? 

You as the applicant must have an employer petition on your behalf to start the process.

If you find an employer who is willing to file the H-1B visa on your behalf, the employer must also receive a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) and then submit an H-1B petition to USCIS.

Additional paperwork and processes on the employer side

All of the extra paperwork and processes that go into successfully getting an H-1B visa can make it necessary for you to bring an immigration attorney into the process. Here are just a few examples of some of the steps you and the employer must take before the government will grant an H-1B visa.

  • If there is an attorney representing you, a G-28 form must be filed and signed.

  • The employer must submit Form ETA-9035, the Labor Condition Application. This form must be filed online through the iCert Portal System run by the State Department.

  • The employer must receive an approval of that LCA application before filing an I-129 form. Assuming the LCA is approved, the Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) is required along with the filing fee, additional documentation and the approved LCA.

  • The I-129 form must have a fully completed H Classification supplement on pages 11 and 12.

  • The H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Supplement must be complied with and complete.

  • If you wish to request Premium Processing, Form I-907 must be completed and filed. There is an extra $1,225 fee for Premium Processing.

Schedule a free consultation to learn more about the H-1B visa

The H-1 B visa application process can be intimidating, but with the help of an immigration attorney you can maximize your chances of acceptance.

For more information, contact Amity Law Group’s trusted immigration attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (626) 307-2800 or click the button below.


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