U.S. Visa Alert: U.S. Immigration Now Accepting H-1B Petitions
Why do I need to hurry?
H-1B petitions for the 2009 fiscal year will be accepted for processing beginning April 1, 2009. Because H-1B numbers tend to run out quickly, prospective H-1B applicants should begin the process now to enable filing by April. Last year USCIS already had received enough H-1B petitions by the first two days in April!
What is an H1B Visa?
The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.
Is there a limit on the number of H-1B applicants?
Yes. Under current law, there is an annual limit or cap of 65,000 applicants who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status. The H-1B cap does not apply to applications for extension of stay or change of employer by workers who already hold H-1B visa status, except those transitioning from a cap-exempt employer to a cap-subject employer, and those who have been absent from the U.S. for more than one year.
When can I apply for the H1B Visa?
April 1, 2009 is the earliest date that employers can file H-1B visa petitions that are subject to the H-1B cap for the fiscal year that starts on October 1, 2009. Employers that are subject to the cap should have their H-1B Application submitted on April 1st.
Last year Immigration Services received over 143,000 applications and this caused a lottery system. Due to the recession, petition volume is expected to be significantly reduced, with better than 65% success rate for the basic group and a 90% success rate for the advanced degree holders.
What are the Benefits of the H1B over the TN Visa?
- Unlike H-1B visas, the TN visa is not a dual intent visa. That is, where a person on an H-1B visa may pursue permanent residency (Green Card) without having their visa revoked because they now have immigrant intent, a person on a TN visa cannot pursue permanent residency without risking their TN status.
- Experience cannot be used as a substitute for the degree requirement when applying for the TN visa. H1B visa applicants with 12 years of experience and more can use the experience as a substitute for the degree and still qualify for the visa.
- H1B Visa holders can hold multiple H1B visas at the same time or apply for part time H1B visa.
- H1B visa holders can hold ownership interest in the sponsoring company.
- H1B visa holders can port/transfer jobs more easily. H1B visa applicant can start working for a new employer as soon as the transfer case is filed, even before approval. This allows for greater flexibility for both employers and employees. TN visas must be approved before employment can start.
- A TN visa can be denied if the Department of Labor certifies that there is a strike or other work stoppage, the resolution of which would be adversely affected by the admission of the TN1 nonimmigrant.
How can I Apply for the H-1B?
If you would like to begin the H-1B petition process or have any questions, please contact Immigration Attorney Jacob Sapochnick at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Is there a Special Offer?
If you have purchased the TN Visa Kit, Mr. Sapochnick will offer you a free consultation to discuss your H1B options as well as a discounted price on your application. Please reference your TN Visa Kit receipt number to receive this offer.