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H1B Visa Immigration Lawyer Philadelphia Call 215-543-7220
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Philadelphia H1B Visa Lawyer

The H1B is the most common tool used by U.S. employers to bring employees to the United States on a temporary basis. The H1B can also be used to change the immigration status of those who are in the United States legally and receive a job offer here. The H1B is for professional workers who possess the equivalent of an American bachelor’s degree.

There are a number of requirements which must be fulfilled before an H1B can be granted. First, there must be an employer/employee relationship between the petitioning employer and the beneficiary. Facts must demonstrate that the employer has the right to pay, hire, fire, supervise, and control hours of employment. It must also be demonstrated that the job is a specialty occupation. A bachelor’s degree must be the minimum requirement for the job, or the job must be so complex that it can only be performed by someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher. The job must be related to the beneficiary’s field of study. It is possible to receive an H1B without a bachelor’s degree if the beneficiary has specialized experience, or knowledge which is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.

It is also important to note that the beneficiary must be paid the actual or prevailing wage for the specific occupation. The U.S. Department of Labor maintains a database for all prevailing wages. Finally, an H1B Visa must be available. There is an annual cap of 65,000.00 of these visas for each fiscal year. The federal fiscal year begins on October 1, however, the H1B quota numbers become available on April 1. There are also exemptions from the cap, including petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries who have a U.S. master’s degree or higher. For nationals of Chile and Singapore, there is what as known as a carve out provision that does not count against the 65,000.00.

It is possible to change immigration status to H1B and remain in the United States, or if the beneficiary is outside the U.S. he or she will present the approved petition to a consulate overseas in order to receive the visa. When approved, the H1B visa gives the beneficiary up to three years of employment with the petitioning employer. An extension of three years can be granted with additional time being granted, depending on where the beneficiary is in the Green Card process. Holders of H1B Visas are also able to bring their spouses and children with them as H4 dependents.

This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.