Houston H-1B Visa Lawyer
The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is extremely popular and highly competitive. Primarily available to people who work in “specialty occupations,” the H-1B is also used by workers of exceptional merit and ability in a Department of Defense cooperative research or development project or who provide services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability. Only a certain number of H-1B visas are allotted each year, and USCIS receives many times more applications than the number of visas available. If you are an employer in Texas needing to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations, BBA Immigration can set you up for success by making sure your petition is complete, accurate, and presents the required information in a manner most likely to garner the approval of USCIS. Learn more about this visa below, and contact our experienced Houston H-1B Visa lawyers today for assistance.
H-1B Visa Process
The petition filing process for obtaining an H-1B visa starts with the employer receiving certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). In the LCA, the employer certifies they will pay the worker a wage at least equal to the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or the prevailing wage, whichever is greater. The employer must also certify that they will provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other similarly employed workers, that there is no ongoing strike or lockout at the employer’s place of employment, and that the employer has posted a notice about the LCA application at the workplace or given notice to the union bargaining representative if applicable.
The next step is to complete and file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS, along with the DOL-certified LCA. BBA Immigration can help you prepare and file your I-129 with sufficient detail to clearly demonstrate the employee’s specialty occupation and value to your organization. We know what USCIS looks for in these applications and can maximize your chances of success.
Once the I-129 is approved, the prospective H-1B worker will apply for a visa, if required, at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or present themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for entry in the H-1B classification.
The initial stay on an H-1B visa is up to three years, although the visa can be extended for up to six years and possibly longer under certain circumstances. Employees can bring their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old through an H-4 visa. Dependent spouses can apply for a work permit as well.
How BBA Immigration Can Help With Your H-1B Petition
The government puts a cap on new H-1B statuses/visas each year, with an exemption for a certain number of individuals with a master’s degree or higher. Certain occupations/organizations are also exempt from the cap. Annually, the government receives about four times as many applications as there are visas available, making the H-1B visa process highly competitive.
There are several requirements to meet the legal definition of a “specialty occupation.” BBA Immigration can help you understand what is required and make sure you adequately demonstrate eligibility. You must also clearly demonstrate the existence of an employment relationship, including showing that actual work is available and the employee will be engaged for the duration of the stay. Of course, you must also demonstrate that the applicant is fit for the job. In our experience, it takes a great deal of time and effort to describe the job in sufficient detail and present the material persuasively to USCIS. This is an area in which our seasoned immigration attorneys excel.
Contact BBA Immigration Today
If you desire to hire a worker under the H-1B classification, if you have already applied but had your application denied, or if you have received a Request for Evidence related to your petition, BBA Immigration can help. Call our experienced Houston H-1B visa lawyers today.