H-1B Visa Classification

It’s time to begin preparing H-1B petitions for an early April filing and October 1, 2016 effective date.

What is H-1B Classification?
The H-1B classification provides work authorization to foreign nationals seeking long-term, but temporary, positions in “specialty occupations” with U.S. employers. A specialty occupation is one which requires theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, business, mathematics, science, arts, law and medicine, and which require a bachelor’s degree or higher.Continue Reading H-1B Season is Here

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it will be extending U.S. employment authorization to certain H-4 spouses of foreign nationals in H-1B status.  Family members of H-1B workers are permitted to enter the United States in H-4 status as dependents of the H-1B worker, but they are not authorized to work.  This change permits spouses in H-4 status to apply for an unrestricted work card provided that the principal H-1B employee:

  1.  Is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  2. Has been granted H-1B status under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21), which permits H-1B employees seeking permanent residency to extend their H-1B status beyond the usual six-years.

Continue Reading Spouses of Certain H-1B Workers May Obtain Employment Authorization

U.S. businesses often use the H-1B visa classification to employ non-U.S. workers in positions requiring a college degree or the equivalent. In most cases, H-1B classification conveys work authorization for a period of up to six years. The law sets a limit of 65,000 new H-1Bs per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 set aside for workers with a master’s degree or higher. These limits are known as the “H-1B caps.” In 2013, the H-1B cap was exceeded for both categories in the first week applications were accepted. Many employers were disappointed when their applications were rejected in the ensuing lottery conducted to select the applications that would be accepted for processing under the caps.
Continue Reading H-1B Season Is Here