H-1B Preparation FAQs: Staying Ahead of the Game - Part 2
The demand for cap-subject H-1Bs continues to be high. Therefore, it is imperative that employers, employees, and their immigration counsel start petition preparations early. Read Part 1 of this FAQ here: https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/prepare-for-the-h-1b-the-lottery-h-1b-faqs-part-1
What are the filing fees?Filing fees vary depending on various factors, such as the size of the petitioning organization
and the number of employees in H-1B status. Typical fees include:
* Base filing fee: $460
* Anti-fraud fee: $500
* Education and training fee: $750 (twenty-five or fewer employees) or $1,500 (twenty-six
or more employees)
Who is responsible for paying the H-1B related fees?Employers are responsible. The regulations provide that employers may not require an H-1B
employee to pay for H-1B costs considered *employer*s business expense,* such as attorney
fees and other costs connected to the H-1B filing and program functions.
Can a person self-petition for an H-1B?As a general rule, the filing must show a valid employer-employee relationship.
What is the validity period of an H-1B?H-1Bs are valid for three years. Extensions may be approved for an additional three years. Once
an H-1B professional has been counted towards the H-1B cap, he or she can obtain H-1B
extensions and change employers without regard to the cap.
For cases where H-1B beneficiaries have trouble getting a license for their petition due to a
technical requirement, they may be approved for up to one year without the license. They may
then file for an extension and show proof of their license to be approved for the remaining
H-1B professionals who are at certain stages of the permanent residence process can file to
receive extensions beyond six years.
When can the employee start working under the new H-1B?Upon acceptance and approval of the H-1B petition, employees might start working in H-1B
status on October 1, the start of Fiscal Year.
How do students in OPT status transition to an H-1B?F-1 students in valid status with a timely filed H-1B petition and request for change of status
benefit from an automatic extension of their F-1 /OPT status and possibly employment
authorization until the first day of the new fiscal year (October 1).
F-1 students with certain DHS designated degrees in science, technology, engineering, or
mathematics (STEM) may apply for a twenty-four-month extension of their post-completion
OPT employment authorization during the H-1B adjudication process.
What are some common H-1B visa alternatives?Employers who have missed the H-1B cap filing period or whose petitions aren*t selected during
the lottery must wait until the next April to file again. However, alternatives remain, such as:
* O-1 for individuals with extraordinary abilities
* TN for nationals of Canada and Mexico and limited to certain professional occupations
* E-3 for Australian nationals
* H1-B1 for professional from Chile and Singapore
* L-1 for intra-company transferees
* E-1/E-2 for investors