San Antonio H1B Visa Lawyer
H1B Visa for Professionals
The H1B Visa is a visa that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. A “Specialty Occupation” is an occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The US Government only issues 85,000 new H1B Visas per year, with 20,000 of those set asside for individuals who have a US master’s degrees or higher.
Benefits of the H1B Visa
The H1B is a work visa popular amongst those that wish to enter the US to work in a specialty occupation. The benefits of the H1B are:
1. Live in the USA
With the H1B Visa, the applicant and their immediate family will be able to legally live in the USA. Immediate family includes your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21.
2. Work in the USA
The applicant will be authorized to legally work in the USA.
3. Public Education
The applicant’s children will have access to schools in the USA and will be able attend classes from Pre-K to high school.
For children that have already graduated from high school, the H1B Visa will allow them to attend universities in the US without a Student Visa.
5. Social Security Number
The applicant will be able to get a Social Security Number.
6. Driver’s License
The applicant will be eligible to apply for a US Driver’s License.
7. Green Card Eligibility
One of the most appealing benefits of having an H1B Visa is that changing from an H1B Visa to a Green Card is a fairly common process. In many cases, people with H1B Visas are eligible to apply for a Green Card.
H1B Visa Requirements
There are 5 general requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the H1B Visa:
1. Offer of Employment in the USA
You must have been offered a job from a company or person in the US.
2. The job must require a college degree or equivalent experience
The job you are offered in the US must require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
3. You must have at least bachelor’s degree, its foreign equivalent, or equivalent experience
You must have a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. If you have a degree from outside the US, we can determine if your degree is the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, but you have real world experience related in the job you are being offered, then your experience can be treated as a replacement for that degree. Generally, 3 years of relevant real experience is considered equal to 1 year of university studies. So, for example, if the position offered requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting you may qualify for the position if you have 12 years of accounting experience.
4. Your job offer must be related to your college degree or equivalent experience
Example: If you have a degree in architecture then the job the US employer is offering you must be related to architecture.
5. Your job must pay you the same amount that a US worker would have been paid in the same job
Example: If a US worker in same job as you would have earned $60,000 a year, then you must also earn at least $60,000 a year to qualify for the H1B. Our office can determine if the salary meets the qualifications for the H1B Visa.
H1B Visa Application Process
The application process for the H1B Visa is a two-step process.
Which Documents are Needed to Apply for an H1B Visa?
Once hired, our immigration attorney will provide you with a tailored checklist of the documents needed to prepare both Step 1 and Step 2 of the H1B Visa application. Generally speaking, the documents needed from the worker are those needed to show that he/she is a professional. The documents needed from the employer are to show that the company can afford to hire the worker.
Step 1 – USCIS H1B Application
Once the applicant has provided us with the necessary documents, we will prepare Step 1 of the application. Step 1 of the application is submitted to USCIS and the process can take anywhere from 2 weeks with Premium Processing to 4 months without Premium Process to get processed and a response. Once USCIS approves Step 1, we then move on to Step 2.
Step 2 – US Consulate Application
Once Step 1 is done and approved, we will prepare Step 2 that will be presented to the US Consulate in your home country. This step of the application includes an H1B interview by a US Consular Officer. It is at this step that the H1B Visa is stamped onto the applicant’s passport upon approval.
What questions will I be asked at H1B Interview?
Prior to the Applicant’s H1B interview with the US Consular Officer in step 2, our attorney will schedule an appointment with you, to help prepare you for the visa interview.
How long does the H1B Visa last?
The H1B Visa will initially be issued for up to 3 years.
The H1B can be extended for a maximum of 6 years, but if you are applying to change your H1B to a Green Card you can have your H1B for more than 6 years while your Green Card application is pending.
Frequently Asked Questions about the H1B
• Who can hire the attorney to apply for the H1B Visa, the employee or employer?
The employer is the one that hires the attorney to assist in the application process for an H1B Visa.
• What if I am being hired as an Engineer and have a master’s degree in Engineering but my bachelor’s degree is in Business?
As long as you have any degree that is a bachelor’s degree or higher in a field related to your job offer, then you satisfy the educational requirement of the H1B.
For more information Contact Our San Antonio H1B Visa Lawyer
If you would like to set up a consultation with an immigration attorney to discuss the time, costs and other requirements associated with an H1B Visa application, please call (210) 858-9681.