Get the inside scoop on how to increase your odds of selection with these 12 tips on how to get an H-1B visa!
Here are the top 12 H-1B filing tips for getting an approval for the 2019-2020 H-1B visa process:
Tip #1: Get your petition in as soon as the window opens!
In past years, the H-1B season has been open for only a short period of time. In fact, due to the staggering numbers of petitions filed each year, the lottery window is typically only open for the first 5 business days after the USCIS begins filing petitions. For that reason, it’s ideal to submit as soon as the first business day in April 2019 rolls around. Procrastinating is not at all recommended.
Tip #2: Filing petitions with multiple employers may be an effective strategy.
It’s commonly known that USCIS will revoke or deny any duplicated petitions they receive that are filed by an employer for one individual. However, you are allowed to submit petitions for multiple employers and even work part-time. This can dramatically increase your chances of being selected. Additionally, you can transfer your employment once your petition has been improved.
Tip #3: Employers–Check if the foreign worker has been previously counted against the cap.
One way to circumvent the annual quota, as we previously mentioned, is to qualify for a cap exemption. If the foreign worker has not yet reached the 6-year limit or if they are working for a cap-exempt employer, chances are they could be exempt. The following is a list of petitions that will not be counted against the cap:
A. Petitions for a cap-exempt employer (more information in Tip #10)
B. Petitions for H-1B transfers to new employers
C. Petitions for H-1B extensions
Tip #4: Provide adequate evidence showing the employer can pay the prevailing wage.
On the petition, it’s important to include all the information that’s requested including evidence that the employer has the ability to pay the prevailing wage. The first attestation of the Labor Condition Application requires that the employer will pay the prevailing wage to the employee, so documentation such as bank or tax statements can help support the employer’s ability to do so. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators
Tip #5: Double check all mailing addresses and sections that require a signature.
It’s easy to overlook a section or neglect to sign an important section. Be sure to double check all relevant fields for the proper information, including addresses and signatures. Having an error or omission on your petition could result in an automatic rejection. An immigration attorney can help you ensure that all forms and fees are sent to the correct places.
Tip #6: Part-time workers can also file an H-1B petition.
Many are surprised to learn that H-1Bs are not limited to only full-time specialty workers. When it comes to the number of hours you can work on the visa, it’s flexible so if you are a part-time worker, apply! You can also apply if you are planning on working for multiple employers simultaneously.
Tip #7: Don’t be misled into thinking that premium processing will increase your chances.
Just because you pay the premium processing fee does not mean your petition will automatically be selected. This feature only speeds up the decision regarding your I-129 petition. The USCIS announces the date that they will begin deciding petitions filed with premium processing each year.
It is important to note that using this feature will also not allow you to start any earlier than October 1st. Speak with your attorney to learn if premium processing is appropriate for your situation.
Tip #8: Your specialty occupation must be related to your degree.
The position on your H-1B petition must correspond to your degree. Even though it is occasionally possible to get an H-1B visa when you have a degree in a different field, it is almost always advisable to seek a position that correlates to your educational background. So if you are applying to be an engineer, your degree should not be in accounting. Make sense?
This is especially important, considering the fact that many of the H-1B Requests for Evidence (RFE) that we get involve a situation in which the beneficiary did not have a degree that was related to the specialty position. While this is not the end of the road, it does create an unnecessary obstacle in the H-1B visa process that could cost you your position in the lottery.
Tip #9: Processing costs must be paid to the USCIS by the employer.
It is very important that the H-1B filing fees are not paid by the beneficiary. If the USCIS finds out the employer did not pay their responsible fees there are serious consequences including potentially revoking the worker’s visa. However, there are some fees, such as the premium processing fee, that can be paid by either the employer or the beneficiary. For the premium processing fee to be paid by the beneficiary, the employer must prove that this was done for the beneficiary’s sake, not the employer’s.
Tip #10: Look for an H-1B cap-exempt job
The best way to increase your chances of selection are to become cap-exempt. This can be done either by already having been counted against the cap or by seeking a job with a cap-exempt employer. The rules for this type of employer are outlined in detail further on in this article, but here are the basic requirements. A cap-exempt employer is either:
A. An institution of higher education
B. A non-profit organization associated with an institution of higher education
C. A governmental research center
Cap-exempt petitions are not only free from the uncertainty of the lottery selection system, but also the associated time constraints. You do not need to file a cap-exempt petition during the narrow cap window and your employment start date is not relegated to October 1st of that year.
You may be tempted to try and get an H-1B with one of these employers to circumvent the cap and then switch to a cap-subject employer when you are in the U.S. However, you must always have a sponsoring employer and switching this sponsor requires filing another petition. If your new sponsor is subject to the cap, then your petition will be also and you will only be able to file during the lottery window.
Tip #11: Be careful as a business owner
If you are the owner of a business, you should tread lightly when petitioning for an H-1B visa. The regulations state that you cannot sponsor yourself under any circumstances, which means that sole proprietors are unable to obtain an H-1B through their business. However, there is a way that certain business owners can apply for an H-1B. For more details on H1B Visa check Kotra
Essentially, you must not be the person petitioning and there must be a valid employer-employee relationship between the beneficiary and the sponsor. Your sponsor will need to be an executive or board of directors that has power over your salary, your employment status, and your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Only then can you get an H-1B through your business. Keep in mind that the USCIS may still heavily scrutinize your case because of the potential for fraud that comes with this avenue.
Tip #12: Have a qualified immigration attorney review all the paperwork.
One of the main mistakes that people make when they try to navigate the treacherous waters of immigration law is going it alone. Just like any big projects, you always want to have an expert by your side making sure that everything is going as planned and fighting for you should the need arise.
Retaining an immigration attorney during the H-1B visa process can significantly increase your chances of being approved by making sure that the fees and documents are filed correctly as well as making sure that the applicant’s position and qualifications have been thoroughly covered to avoid a Request for Evidence (RFE).