H-1B Visa and PERM Processing
The H-1B visa allows United States companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require expertise in specialized fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine. You must find an employer willing to sponsor this type of visa, and have the requisite skills that the company requires. In turn, the employer affirmatively states that no other United States citizen can fill this position, and agrees to pay the employee the prevailing wage for this position, as established by the Department of Labor. Applications are conducted a year in advance of the fiscal year, meaning a H-1B visa for 2018, is based upon an application accepted April 1, 2017.
The H-1B visa is one of the most sought after visas by foreign national workers. Many employees on this type of visa can eventually transition from this temporary visa to a permanent status such as a Green Card and live and work permanently in the United States, with all benefits.
This type of visa is subject to annual numerical limits, known as “caps.” The government allows 65,000 visas for employees, and an additional 20,000 for those with advanced degrees. This category of visa generally receives over 200,000 applications within days of the applications being accepted. For the 2016 H-1B season, there were 233,000 applications. Applications exceeding these caps are placed into a lottery selection whereby applications are randomly selected, and any applications in excess of the cap are randomly rejected.
You must start planning for H-1B visa well in advance. Students in the USA can start planning for their H-1B immediately and can also have optional practical training, which can help keep the student employed during this application process. Those in other countries, or interested in this type of position, should reach out to recruiters and employers, and seek for them to sponsor this type of visa.
Applicants who are not qualified for H-1B, or who do not meet the cap, may want to look at the numerous other employment based visas including Optional Practical Training, L-1 Visa, TN Status. Please contact our firm to discuss your visa options available.