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H1-B Visas

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An H-1B Visa is a common visa dealing with people who are classified as non-immigrants and who will be employed temporarily in something called a specialty occupation. A non-immigrant is a person who is wanting to come to the United states for a certain period of time for a certain reason. This person, usually, has no intent on permanently immigrating to the United States, although their status can and frequently does change. In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, there are several requirements. First, you must have an occupation classified and defined as a specialty occupation. These might include: architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts. In addition to meeting one of the criteria for a specialty occupation, you also must have a bachelors degree or the US equivalent to a bachelors degree. The Attorneys at Garg & Associates are well versed in assisting clients in assessing their educational equivalents and in defining their specialty. If, for one reason or another, you do not meet the criteria for an H-1B Visa, the Houston Immigration Attorneys at Garg & Associates will counsel you and offer different proposals and alternatives. While in the country under an H-1B Visa, a person may work for a number of different employers but they must have a separate and approved I-129 petition for each employer. Otherwise, the applicant may only work in the position described under their H-1B and only for the sponsoring employer.

Common Questions Regarding H-1B Visas:

How does one apply for an H-1B Visa?

In order to apply for an H-1B, you must first be sponsored by a U.S. employer. After your have an U.S. employer to sponsor you, then the employer must file a Labor Condition Application which details the position in which you will be working and the wages you will be earning among other things. In order for an employer to bring a foreign worker in from another country, the employer must pay the employee an amount commensurate with what a domestic worker would be making if he or she filled the position; this is called the prevailing wage. Following, the filing of the Labor Conditions Application, the employer must then file a Form I-129 with the USCIS along with the filing fee which can vary depending on the size of the employer. After the employer gets approval from USCIS, an application may then be filed for an H-1B visa or change of status.

Is there a limit on the number of H-1B Visas which are issued?

Currently, the law limits the number of people who may be issued a H-1B visa to 65,000. In the event you and/or your employer needs you apply for an H-1B, it is a good idea to get legal help immediately as the limits are reached fairly quickly. The Houston Immigration attorneys at Garg & Associates are ready to assist you.

How long can a person stay in the Country under an H-1B?

Generally, a person who is in the United States under an H-1B Visa can remain in the US for a period of six years. After a person has been in the US on an H-1B Visa for a period of six years, her or she must leave the US and remain out of the country for at least one year before he or she can apply for another H-1B Visa. Often times, it becomes necessary for a person to change jobs and as a consequence they must change their H-1B Visa sponsorship and submit a new application. In such a case, it is important to track the number of years under which a person has been under the H-1B Visa. Under certain circumstances, a person can be eligible for a 10 year consecutive status under an H-1B, such as working for the Department for Defense.

How can a person change their immigration status?

Every time a person who is in the US on an H-1B changes their status whether it be a changes in employer or in circumstances, they must file to change their status. Sometimes a person may wish to switch employers, in such a case, a new 1-129 form must be filed. Failure of an alien to change their status can mean that they are in violation and that person might be in danger have having their Visa revoked and/or be required to leave the country. It is very important to consult with a qualified attorney if a change in status is anticipated. The Houston Immigration attorneys at Garg & Associates are experienced Immigration attorneys who stand ready to assist you.

Can a person on an H-1B Visa travel outside the U.S. and re-enter the country?

Yes. An H-1B visa allows a person to leave and re-enter the country without any substantial hardship as long as the H-1B Visa remains valid.

How can a person on an H-1B transition to immigrate permanently to the US?

A person on an H-1B Visa can apply for an adjustment of their status in order to take the steps necessary to immigrate permanently to the US. This adjustment will not affect their status as they will have what is called a dual intent.

If you or someone you know is need of family law services, please do not hesitate to call Garg & Associates at 281-362-2865 for a consultation today or use our Contact Form.