Navigating The Nonimmigrant/H-1B Visa Process

Today's competitive business environment has U.S. companies across all industries recruiting the most talented workers possible, including many foreign nationals. The H-1B visa category allows companies to hire qualified foreign workers in specialty occupations on a temporary basis.

What qualifies as a "specialty occupation?" U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines state, "the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree." Common examples of qualified positions include engineers, professors, medical professionals and researchers, although some positions may not require a college degree. However, there are exceptions, and some jobs that qualify for H-1B status do not require a college degree.

An H-1B visa holder can file for adjustment of status or take other steps to become a lawful permanent resident while living and working in the U.S. without affecting his or her H-1B status. We can help you determine the best steps to take in this regard.

The employment-based immigration attorneys at Salaman / Henry in Philadelphia provide personalized guidance through the H-1B visa application process. We will complete and file all forms in a timely manner, keep you updated on the status of your petition, and submit petitions for extensions or adjustment of status when necessary. In most instances, our services for H-1B petitions are offered for a competitive flat fee.

We work extensively with doctors, hospitals, clinics, medical researchers, and other medical professionals and medical service providers in the Greater Philadelphia area.

The H-1B Process And Understanding The Restrictions

A foreign worker must have a sponsoring U.S. employer to initiate the H-1B process. The employer files a labor condition application (LCA) with the Department of Labor and submits an H-1B petition to the USCIS.

A foreign worker can be in H-1B status for a maximum of six years, although exceptions are made for noncitizens working on Defense Department projects. After six years, the foreign worker must remain outside of the U.S. for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Extensions are possible under certain circumstances.

We Can Answer Your Questions And Recommend The Best Steps To Take

There are a number of precise requirements for employers as well as H-1B applicants. By working with our knowledgeable immigration lawyers, you are assured of keeping the process on track and on schedule. Call us or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We work with clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and neighboring states.