San Francisco H-1B Work Visa Lawyer
Protecting Your Rights & Fighting for Your Best Interests in California
An H-1B visa allows a company in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers. In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the individual must work in an occupation that requires highly specialized knowledge. The individual must also have a related bachelor's degree or higher, or its equivalent. The attorney at The Law Office of Zhang have years of experience in helping individuals file their visa petitions.
Filing an H-1B Visa Petition
Filing a petition is a multi-step process. First, you must complete Form I-129, signing all required forms. When submitting your application, make sure to include payment for the fees and corroborating evidence. Like every other visa application, it is important that you accurately complete the forms. We highly recommend that you speak to our seasoned H-1B visa attorney when completing your application.
How Long Does it Take to Get an H-1B Approved?
Unfortunately, the processing time for an H-1B work visa depends on the USCIS office that is handling your application. On average, it takes about 3 months to a year, however, others have waited longer. Even those who opt for premium processing are not guaranteed on time.
Premium processing is available for employers who are willing to pay the additional fee: $2,500. The decision will be made within 15 business days of filing. Expedited processing exists, but it is only available on a case-by-case basis.
These are only granted in special cases such as:
- Humanitarian reasons
- Severe financial loss to a U.S. employer or foreign employee
- USCIS error
- Emergency situation
If you are getting an H-1B work visa, we recommend that employers begin the process 6 months in advance before the employee begins their job. This allows for time to reapply in case USCIS rejects the petition.
Duration of Stay
Individuals with an H-1B visa are initially allowed to stay in the country for three years. Extensions are granted in one-year increments with a maximum total stay not to exceed six years. However, certain exceptions can be made to the maximum time allowed. One of the benefits of an H-1B visa is that individuals can have legal immigration intent while holding this type of visa, allowing them to live in the country while petitioning for a green card.
An H-1B2 visa is given to the Department of Defense researchers and development project workers. In order to qualify, the individual's job duties must require a bachelor's degree or higher, or its equivalent. Additionally, the research or project must be directly, or jointly, administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Qualified applicants must meet one of the following requirements to petition for an H-1B2 visa:
- Has earned a project-related bachelor's degree, or higher, from an accredited U.S. college or university
- Has earned a foreign degree that is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the U.S.
- Currently holds certification, registration, or licensure in a U.S. state in a specialty that is directly related to their job duties
- Has extensive training, education, and experience that is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in the related field.
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