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H-1B specialty occupation visa

If you have special skills and the right experience, you might be eligible for a H-1B visa if there is a shortage of qualified workers.

Carl Michael Shusterman | Sep 28, 2019

Videos: How to Get a Temporary Work Visa

E-2, H-1B, H-4 EAD and L-1A Temporary Work Visas Our attorneys have obtained temporary visas for thousands of E-1 treaty traders, E-2 treaty investors, H-1B professionals, J-1 trainees, L-1 intracompany managers and executives, O-1 persons of extraordinary ability, P-1 athletes and entertainers and R-1 religious workers. We represent over 100 employers and thousands of computer professionals, physicians, accountants, engineers, scientists, health care professionals including registered nurses across the US. We link to our "how to" temporary visa videos below under additional sources of information. E-2 visas are authorized for investors who are nationals of a country which has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. The investor must be coming to the US to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which has invested, or is actively involved in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. The H-1B temporary visa category includes persons coming to the U.S. to work in a professional capacity and well as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability. Common H-1B occupatons include computer professionals, teachers, physicians, engineers, architects, accountants and health care professionals. H-4 spouses of H-1B professionals with approved I-140 visa petitions or who is the beneficiary of a PERM application or an I-140 which was filed at least 365 days before the expiration of his or her 6-year limitation of stay as an H-1B nonimmigrant. If the PERM application was approved, the I-140 must have been filed with the USCIS within 180 days. L-1A, L-1B, O and P Temporary Work Visas L visas are for certain persons who work for a company with a parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate in the US. These persons come to the US as intracompany transferees to perform services either in a in a managerial or executive capacity (L-1A) or which entail specialized knowledge (L-1B) for a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate of the same employer that employed the professional abroad. The employee must have been employed abroad for the corporation, firm, or other legal entity (or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof) on a full-time basis for at least one continuous year out of the last three-year period to qualify. There is no annual cap on L-1 visas. O visas are for persons who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. P visas are granted to foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to work as an athlete, entertainer, or artist. Please read on for specific criteria for each category: P-1, P-2, and P-3. The P-1 classification applies to a person coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance. The P-2 classification applies to a person coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and an organization in another country. The P-3 classification applies to persons coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

Carl Michael Shusterman | Jun 19, 2019

Employers: Get Ready For H-1B RFEs & NOIDs

Why Are There More H-1B RFEs and Denials? As the following chart from the USCIS’s new H-1B Employer Data Hub indicates, the percentage of H-1B Denials for first-time petitions has skyrocketed over the past fiscal few years. The 6% denial rate in FY 2015 more than doubled by FY 2017 to 13%, and by the first quarter of FY 2019, the denial rate reached 32%. FISCAL YEAR DENIAL RATE FY 2019* 32% FY 2018 24% FY 2017 13% FY 2016 10% FY 2015 6% FY 2014 8% FY 2013 7% FY 2012 5% FY 2011 7% FY 2010 8% FY 2009 15% The vastly increased denial rates for H-1B Petitions are not confined to any one industry or any particular type of employment. Each of the top 2 dozen employers who petitioned for the most H-1B professionals experienced an increase in the percentage of denials received. For example, Amazon experienced a 17% H-1B Petition denial rate during the 1st quarter of FY 2019. From a legal perspective, the dramatic increase in the number of H-1B RFEs, NOIDs and Denials is particularly concerning. There has been no change in the law governing who qualifies for H-1B status during the past few years. H-1B RFEs In order to obtain H-1B status, (1) the job offered must require a minimum of a 4-year university degree (or equivalent work experience); (2) the compensation must be either the “prevailing wage” as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor or the “actual wage” paid by the employer, whichever is higher; and (3) the foreign-born beneficiary must possess the required university degree and/or experience. The above requirements have been part of the immigration law during the 40+ years that I have been in practice, so why are so many more H-1B petitions being questioned and denied than before? The answer is purely political. In the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election, a number of U.S. employers used a loophole in the law to fire U.S. workers and replace them with H-1B workers supplied by 3rd party contractors. Instead of closing this loophole, the current Administration has reacted by questioning and denying thousands of H-1B petitions. In many cases, the USCIS does not have a valid legal basis on which to deny the H-1B petition. How Employers Should Respond to H-1B RFEs and Denials Some employers, particularly those in Information Technology, have reacted to this crackdown by setting up shop in Vancouver and Toronto where the Canadian government is more than happy to accept educated foreign-born taxpayers. Premier Trudeau is probably hoping that Canada will give birth to the next Google, Apple or Microsoft. Other employers have successfully challenged this administrative overreach by suing the USCIS in Federal Court. It is important that U.S. employers who sponsor foreign-born professionals retain the services of law firms which specialize in the employment-based immigration to represent them. The days are over when human resource managers can take on the role of attorneys in responding to H-1B RFEs and NOIDs, and in appealing to H-1B petition denials.

Giselle Carson | May 16, 2019

H-1B Cap Selection Is Complete. Now What?

Introduction There was an 11% increase from FY2019 in H-1B advanced degree (master’s and above) petitions selected in the FY2020 lottery; about 63% of those selected were advanced degree petitions. Unfortunately, as it has been for the last two years, being selected is just the first challenge. With the Request for Evidence (RFE) rate for last year at 60%, this is the next hurdle to overcome towards approval. If you submitted a petition, you may wonder, “What happens now? When will I know if mine is selected?” USCIS typically takes several weeks to months to notify which cases are selected in the lottery. Learn more about what you can expect. Here is an overview of the process USCIS goes through and where we are currently: Process and issue receipt notices for cases selected in the lottery This typically takes a few months, with the first notifications going out mid-April and then ending around May/June. We have begun to receive H-1B lottery receipts and have notified those clients. Process and adjudicate the cases selected in the lottery Adjudications begin after receipts are issued and typically continue through September or October. For last year’s lottery, most cases were adjudicated by October, but some were not. In fact, we just recently received the approval of our last pending H-1B cap case from FY2019 a few days ago. Issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) The receipt of an RFE has been a significant and arbitrary burden over the last two years. Every applicant should be prepared to potentially receive one. We are working hard and strategically with our clients on RFE responses. Return cases that were not selected in the lottery Cap cases that were not selected begin to be returned in July and typically continue through August.