Attorney Michele Da Silva is an aggressive immigration attorney with extensive immigration experience in H-1B work visas. Da Silva Law Group welcomes both contact from employers and employees to discuss their immigration options, including but not limited to H-1B visas for skilled workers, that best suit your unique situation. For employers, we look for the fastest way to bring foreign workers to the United States. For employees, we devise a plan that would allow them to advance their career in the United States while keeping the options open for eventual transition to permanent residency.
What You Should Know About an H-1B Visa
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows a qualified foreign worker with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to temporarily (up to 6 years) be employed in the United States by a sponsoring U.S. employer. One of the benefits of entering the United States with an H-1B Visa, is that spouses and children of the worker can also come to the United States.
To qualify for an H-1B visa, an alien worker can be employed either part-time or full-time. It is not a violation of alien worker’s non-immigrant status to be on vacation, on sick, maternity or paternity leave. An alien worker on an H-1B visa may travel outside the United States, for business and pleasure, and safely re-enter the country.
The Labor Condition Application LCA
The process of applying for an H-1B visa is very complex and best handled by an immigration attorney. An H-1B visa application starts with a labor condition application (LCA), which must be certified by the Department of Labor (DOL).
One of the main requirements of the LCA is a declaration made by the employer to pay at least the prevailing wage for the offered position as it is determined by an appropriate wage source for the specific geographic location of employment. To achieve this, the offered position must be correctly categorized and identified by an attorney preparing an H-1B application. Attorney Michele Da Silva does this through careful analysis of the job description and job requirements.
In addition to the certified LCA, an integral component of an H-1B visa application is the letter of support endorsed by the petitioning U.S. employer. This letter seeks to establish that the alien will indeed be employed in a specialty occupation and that the alien is qualified for the position offered. Attorney Michele Da Silva as an experienced attorney will assist the U.S. employer in drafting this important piece of evidence in a way that conveys a correct and convincing message to USCIS adjudicating officers.
H-1B Visa Quota Consideration and Deadlines
H-1B Visa have an annual quota mandated by Congress that can be approved per fiscal year of 65,000. There is an exemption from this cap available for aliens who have earned a Master’s or higher degree from a university in the United States. This exemption is limited to 20,000.
There are strict filing deadlines for H-1B visa petitions which all cap-subject applications must adhere to in order to be considered. The fiscal year begins on October 1 and the employment start date can be no earlier than this. So if a petitioner requests an October 1 start date, the application must be submitted on or after April 1. Due to an increasingly high volume of H-1B filings, each year the cap is filled closer and closer to the first day on which cap-subject applications are accepted.
USCIS will start accepting H-1B visa applications for the upcoming fiscal year on April 1. If an H-1B application is approved, a foreign national employee is authorized to start working in the US at the start of the fiscal year, on October 1. Optional Practical Training (OPT) status holders might be eligible for a “Gap Cap.” It would allow them to continue their work in the US beyond the expiration of their OPT and before October 1.
Since the H-1B quota for the upcoming fiscal year will not likely to remain open for long, eligible foreign workers and their U.S. employees are advised to immediately contact Da Silva Law Group to start H-1B application process.