H-1B Visas for Highly Skilled and Graduate Professionals
Welcome to the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram. We’re delighted to have you join us for our video presentation series on the H-1B Visa for Graduates, Skilled Workers and Specialty Occupations.
The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa for BA graduates and for non-graduate professionals and skilled workers who have at least 12 years experience in their field. The H-1B visa is the most popular employment US visa for non-immigrants.
When initially granted, the H-1B is issued for three years, and can be issued for a further three years thereafter. Also, if you have a pending green card through employment that was filed before the 5th anniversary of your H-1B, your H-1B can be extended beyond the six- year limit.
Although the H-1B is transferable from job to job, with each transfer a completely new H-1B application has to be filed and approved. This is because US Immigration has to verify that you have the qualifications for that new job, and the new job has the degree of difficulty to qualify for the H-1B visa.
Many H-1B visa holders are able to obtain green cards for themselves and their family, making the H-1B excellent visas to obtain. There are some challenges, so let’s review them.
Each year only 65,000 new H-1B visas are made available, and are released every April 1st. However, the H-1B visa rules provide that you can’t take up employment until October 1st. This hurdle has been put there to give American citizen workers an advantage.
When the US economy is doing great the speed at which the 65,000 H-1B visas are allocated accelerates, and at the height of the last economy boom all 65,000 H-1B visas were allocated on April 1st. In fact, US Immigration received more than 200,000 applications between April 1st and 2nd and the 65,000 had to be allocated by lottery.
During the deepest part of the economic down turn, there were H-1B visas available nine months after April 1st. This meant that aliens who found employment in October of that year could start work immediately.
Right now, 2012 – 2013, the US economy is picking up and therefore we can anticipate that the H-1B’s released in April 2013 will be all gone before October 1st. The key therefore is to secure your H-1B as close to April 1st if possible.
It’s very difficult to secure a H-1B visa if you are not already in the US on some other visa – typically a student visa. The major exception to this is if you’re skilled in the STEM areas, i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEMs are very much in demand globally so it’s quite possible that if you are skilled in STEM, you may well be able to secure employment in the US from your home country.
We would encourage all H-1B visa holders to pursue your employer to consider sponsoring you for your green card as quickly as possible after joining the company. Obtaining a green card from the H-1B can take 1-2 years if you have a Masters Degree, and 5-10 years if you have a Bachelors degree. Aliens from China and India typically have the longest wait times.
H-1B for Non-Profit Organizations:
Non-profit organizations are exempt from the H-1B visa quotas, and so these visas are available all year round. This exemption provides another tremendous opportunity for people to be in education, the arts, the health industry or charities commonly known as non-profit organizations.
Please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation so that we can discuss your options further.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Admitted in New York
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
Suite 300, 23822 Valencia Blvd,
Valencia, California 91355
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
General Location: Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Serving all 50 States
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.