H-1B Visa Attorneys in Boston, Massachusetts
At the Law Offices of Jacob D. Geller located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, our immigration attorneys handle every aspect of the H-1B visa application process. We have years of experience in the field of immigration law and are dedicated to providing our clients with industry-leading service in a timely and efficient manner. If you are considering applying for an H-1B visa, please contact us at 781-462-1346 or online for consultation.
Overview of the H-1B Visa Program
The H-1B visa program allows highly skilled and educated individuals to work temporarily in the U.S. in specialized occupations. An individual may hold an H1-B visa for six up to years at a time, with the possibility of extending it for longer periods of time if applying for a green card (i.e. "permanent residence").
Competition for H-1B visas is fierce, since only 65,000 of them are available every year (although there are some exceptions when this limit is reached). 20,000 additional H-1B visas are potentially reserved for people who have received a graduate or professional degree from a U.S. college or university (however, these are counted toward the 65,000 cap until that number is met).
Eligibility for the H-1B Visa
Our H-1B visa attorneys can evaluate whether you or your employee are eligible for this visa under the complex requirements of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Eligibility for the H1-B visa is based on the following conditions:
- A bachelor's degree or higher, or its equivalent, is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position.
- The degree requirement is common to the job or industry, or the job is so complex or unique that only someone with that degree can do the job.
- The applicant has a bachelor's degree or higher, or its equivalent, or twelve years of experience. This degree must be a degree usually required for employment in this position.
- In fields where a state license is mandatory, that individual must have any appropriate licenses.
Some of the eligible specialized occupations include (but are not limited to): agricultural science, architecture, astronomy, biology, business/management, chemistry, computer science, department of defense, education, engineering, geology, law, mathematics, medicine/health fields, physics, psychology, surveying/cartography, theology, veterinary science, writing.
How to Apply for an H-1B Visa
Applying for an H-1B visa is a detailed process, requiring the submission of USCIS forms and supporting documentation. Our H-1B visa attorneys can handle the application for you from beginning to end, ensuring that it's completed quickly and accurately. There are many components to the application, but the following is a brief summary of the main steps:
- The employer, not the employee, must petition USCIS for the H-1B visa.
- The employer can begin the application process up to six months prior to the start date of employment.
- The employer needs to get a labor condition application from the U.S. Department of Labor prior to filing an H-1B petition with the USCIS.
- The employee can do his or her end of the H-1B application process at an embassy or consulate, and will have to go through an interview, among other steps. Your embassy's website will list its specific requirements.
When to Start the H-1B Visa Application Process
Although H-1B visas are not released until October 1 each year, you may apply up to 6 months before that, beginning on April 1. Because of the popularity of the H-1B visa, visa numbers for October 1 start dates are often exhausted within the first week of April. If you are interested in applying for an H-1B visa and the job is not exempt from the visa cap, you should begin the process as early as February to be sure you are ready to file on April 1. Our Boston H-1B visa lawyers are ready to help you meet this high-stakes deadline
Additional Benefits of the H-1B Visa
Beyond the ability to work in the U.S., some benefits of an H-1B visa include:
- An employee currently working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa can transfer his or her H-1B to a different employer thanks to the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act, also known as AC-21.
- The spouse and any minor children of an employee on an H-1B can live in the United States on H-4 status. And they can study in the U.S., but not work.
- Unlike other types of temporary visas, the H-1B visa allows for dual intent, meaning one can intend to stay temporarily and immigrate at the same time. This makes applying for a green card and retaining H-1B status possible.
Boston H-1B Visa Lawyers
If you are considering applying for an H-1B visa, please contact one of our experienced Boston immigration attorneys at 781-462-1346 or online for a consultation. We can advise you as to whether the H-1B visa is appropriate for you or your employee and can handle the application process from beginning to end.