Now is the Time to Start Preparing Your H-1B Visa Application
The H-1B visa is one of the most popular ways for foreign professionals in specialty occupations to obtain a work visa, and even a Green Card in the United States. A successful H-1B application requires sponsorship by the professional’s employer, and can be granted for three years, with one additional three-year renewal. The H-1B allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, and requires a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent.
Although USCIS will not begin accepting H-1B applications until April 1, 2017, it is critical to start preparing your application now, as the competition for this coveted visa is fierce. The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. However, the first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. In 2016, USCIS received 236,000 H-1B visa applications within the first five days of the application period. Once USCIS receives enough applications to satisfy the 65,000 quota, it implements a lottery. The applications that are not selected in the lottery are returned to the sender, along with their filing fees. In 2016, there was a 25% chance of an application making it through the lottery with a Bachelor’s Degree, and a one third chance with a Master’s Degree.
In addition to meeting the strict application requirements, applicants must also cross the additional hurdle of having their application in the pile that makes it through the lottery. It is absolutely imperative that your application arrive on April 1 so that your application is not rejected before it has the chance to be reviewed. Don’t take the chance of submitting your application a few days or weeks after the filing period opens, as all your work may be disregarded if your application is rejected because it did not make the lottery.
If you are thinking of applying for the H-1B visa, now is the time to start preparing your application, as it can take several months to compile the necessary documentation for an H-1B visa application. To find out if you qualify for an H-1B visa, for tips on how to prepare a successful application, or to obtain assistance with filing your application, check out our blog post here, or schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.
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*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.