If you are a US employer intending to employ a foreign specialty worker such as an engineer temporarily, H-1B visas may be the way to go. Under the H-1B program companies in the United States can temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. An occupation will qualify if it requires the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge and at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the specific specialty.
In the first step in the H1B visa process, your company files a Labor Condition Application, LCA with the Department of Labor. If the Labor Department approves the application, you can then submit an h1b petition on form I-129 for the foreign worker1. It is important to note that there is a total cap of 85,000 on the number of new H-1B petitions that the USCIS can approve each year. The cap is made up of the regular cap of 65000 and 20,00 for those with a Master’s Degree from a United States University.
I-797 Approval Notice
When the h1b petition is approved United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will mail an original I-797 Receipt to the applicant or petitioner’s attorney. The form will indicate that the USCIS has approved the employer’s petition to have the alien apply for classification in h1b status.
H1B endorsement on I-94 Record
If the applicant is from a visa waiver program country the applicant will present the original form I-797 at the U.S. port of entry and does not have to make a h1b visa application at a US consular office2. Upon inspection and admission to the United States a DHS inspector will issue the applicant an I-94 indicating that the employee has been admitted in h1b status for the duration of the approved petition.
It is important to have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the duration of the petition otherwise the CBP inspector may issue an I-94 until the expiration date of the passport if it falls before the expiration of the petition.
If you are interested in working in the United States, we can help. Contact our H1b visa lawyer for a confidential consultation. Call 702-423-2721 for a speedy evaluation of your h1b or other US work visa options.
- 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b); 8 USCS § 1182 (n)(1).
- 8 CFR 212.1(i).
- 8 U.S.C. 1182 (a)(7)(B) (i).
- Legacy INS Operations Instruction (OI) 214.2(h)(9).