Articles Posted in H-1B Visa

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The journey of foreign medical graduates to practice medicine in the United States embodies a challenging yet immensely rewarding pathway. From securing a visa to fulfilling residency requirements, FMGs  navigate a web of regulatory and procedural hurdles, including dealing with ECFMG, USMLE, state licensing issues, and of course, immigration issues. In this landscape, understanding the intricacies of J waivers, H-1B visas, and the role of experienced immigration law firms like Zneimer & Zneimer becomes indispensable.

For many FMGs, the journey begins either with H-1B or with a J-1 visa.  The J-1 visa comes with two years foreign residency requirements and ineligibility for H-1B visa or permanent residence until the two years foreign residency requirement is completed or unless the foreign medical graduate receives a J waiver.  For those seeking to remain in the U.S., obtaining a J-1 waiver is crucial. This waiver allows FMGs to bypass the home residency requirement under certain conditions, such as serving in a medically underserved area. The complexity of these applications highlights the importance of having seasoned immigration attorneys to guide FMGs through the process.  Our law firm is very experienced in all types of J waivers.

The H-1B visa serves as another mechanism for FMGs aspiring to practice in the U.S. but not all residency programs file H-1B petitions for their medical residents. Unlike the J-1, the H-1B does not inherently require a return to one’s home country after training. It permits FMGs to work in the U.S. for up to six years, offering a potential pathway to permanent residency. The annual cap on H-1B visas and the lottery system make it a competitive and uncertain process, except for those foreign physicians who work for cap-exempt entities. Expert legal guidance becomes invaluable in navigating this complex landscape and maximizing the chances of a successful application.

At the heart of the journey for many FMGs is the support and expertise of immigration law firms, among which Zneimer & Zneimer stands out for its dedication and success in assisting FMGs. Our clients stay with us from the start of their medical residency throughout the day they become citizens.  With years of experience, Zneimer & Zneimer has developed a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by FMGs and tailored strategies to overcome these obstacles. Whether it is strategizing for J-1 waivers, filing H-1B petitions, or navigating the green card process, Zneimer & Zneimer provides comprehensive support to FMGs at every step of their journey.

What sets Zneimer & Zneimer apart is not just its expertise in immigration law but its genuine commitment to the success and well-being of FMGs. Recognizing the critical role of FMGs in addressing healthcare shortages across the U.S., Zneimer & Zneimer takes pride in facilitating the integration of these highly skilled professionals into the U.S. healthcare system. The firm’s extensive experience, coupled with a personalized approach to each case, ensures that FMGs have the best possible representation and advice. Continue reading →

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The Chicago H-1B immigration attorneys at Zneimer & Zneimer PC are actively enrolling businesses in need of specialized workers for the H-1B lottery. It has come to our attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has decided to extend the initial registration timeframe for the fiscal year 2025 H-1B cap due to technical difficulties. The initial registration period, which commenced at noon Eastern on March 6, 2024, and was initially slated to conclude at noon Eastern on March 22, 2024, has been extended to conclude at noon Eastern on March 25, 2024. This extension is in response to a temporary system outage encountered by some registrants, providing them with additional time to address this complication.  Throughout this extension, prospective petitioners, and their representatives where relevant, are required to utilize a USCIS online account to electronically register each beneficiary for the selection process and remit the requisite registration fee for each beneficiary. The USCIS still plans to inform the selected registrants by March 31, 2024.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The H-1B visa program is subject to an annual cap or limit on the number of visas that can be issued each fiscal year, which currently stands at 65,000 for the regular cap, with an additional 20,000 visas available to graduates with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education.


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The Chicago H-1B visa lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer PC. reviewed the DHS’s final regulations regarding the H-1B registration process.  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced a series of significant changes to the H-1B visa registration process, aiming to streamline the procedure and ensure a fair chance for all applicants. With the new system commencing on March 6, 2024 and ends on March 22, 2024, it is crucial for employers to understand these updates and prepare accordingly.

Beneficiary-Centric Process

The Department of Homeland Security published final regulations outlining how USCIS will select H-1B registrations.  The USCIS introduced a beneficiary-centric approach, which marks a significant shift from the previous method of selection. Under the new rule, USCIS will select H-1B registrations based on each unique beneficiary, meaning that every individual entered the selection process will have an equal opportunity to be chosen, regardless of the number of registrations filed on their behalf. This method aims to eliminate the possibility of gaming the system to increase selection chances, thereby maintaining the integrity and fairness of the process.

Under the new H-1B visa registration process, all employers who submit registrations on behalf of a beneficiary will be notified if that beneficiary is selected in the lottery. Once a beneficiary is selected in the H-1B visa lottery, USCIS will inform every employer who submitted a registration for that specific beneficiary. This notification process allows all participating employers to be aware of their candidate’s selection status. Subsequently, each notified employer will have the opportunity to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the selected beneficiary during the applicable petition filing period.

This approach will be beneficiary-centric in nature, aiming to streamline communication and reduce uncertainty for employers.  For that reason, the registrants must enter either a valid passport information or valid travel document information in the registration.

Understanding the Electronic Registration Requirement

In an effort to make the H-1B visa application process more efficient, USCIS now mandates that all petitioners must register electronically through the official USCIS website. This requirement applies to both the H-1B regular cap and the H-1B advanced degree exemption. It is the first step in filing an H-1B cap-subject petition for a beneficiary, ensuring that the petitioner is eligible to proceed with the application for the selected fiscal year.

The Importance of Individual Registrations

A critical aspect of the updated process is the limitation on registrations per beneficiary. Each prospective petitioner is required to submit a separate electronic registration for every beneficiary and is restricted to one registration per beneficiary per fiscal year.

Registration Period and Selection Process

The initial registration period is set to last a minimum of 14 calendar days, providing a sufficient window for all interested petitioners to submit their registrations. USCIS commits to announcing the start and end dates of this period well in advance, ensuring transparency and allowing employers to prepare accordingly.  Here are the important dates:

  • March 6: H-1B registration period opens at noon Eastern.
  • March 22: H-1B registration period closes at noon Eastern.
  • March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.
  • April 1: The earliest date that FY 2025 H-1B cap-subject petitions based on the registrations selected during the initial FY 2025 selection period may be filed.

A change in the selection process is the focus on unique beneficiaries. This means that each beneficiary will be counted only once in the selection process, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. This adjustment aims to democratize the selection process, giving each beneficiary an equal chance of being selected.

Required Information for Registration

To complete the registration, petitioners must include the beneficiary’s valid passport information or a valid travel document. This ensures that the beneficiary can be accurately identified and is eligible to enter the United States if selected. It is important to note that each beneficiary must be registered under a single passport or travel document, reinforcing the uniqueness of each registration.

The following information must be entered as part of the registration process

  1. Beneficiary’s Legal Name: Ensure the registration includes the full legal name of the beneficiary.
  2. Date of Birth: Provide the complete date of birth of the beneficiary.
  3. Country of Birth: Include the country where the beneficiary was born.
  4. Valid Passport or Travel Document Information:
  • Passport number or travel document number.
  • Country of issuance. Enter the country that issued the passport and not the country in which a consulate is geographically located.  For example, if a German citizen has their German passport issued or renewed at the German Consulate in the United States, please write “Germany.”
  • Expiration date.
  1. Certification under Penalty of Perjury:
  • The registrant must certify that the information contained in the registration is complete, true, and correct.
  • The registration must reflect a legitimate job offer, and the registrant intends to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary.

Post-Selection Procedures

Upon selection, USCIS will notify each registrant employer, allowing the petitioner to proceed with filing an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary. This notification is crucial as it enables the employer to prepare the necessary documentation and fulfill the subsequent steps of the application process within the designated filing period.

Registration Fee and Compliance Continue reading →

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If you are a potential H-1B worker who has not been selected for the H-1B lottery, you have other options. At Zneimer & Zneimer, our experienced immigration attorneys can help employers and workers who were not selected for the H-1B visa lottery to find the best path forward.

One option for H-1B workers who have not been selected in the lottery is to consider alternative visa options. There are several other visas that may be available, depending on your individual circumstances. For example, if you have an advanced degree, you may be eligible for an O-1 visa, which is designed for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics.  Another option is to seek F-1 status as a student, or if you have OPT and are eligible for STEM OPT, you can seek extension of your STEM OPT.  It is also possible to explore other work visa options, such as the L-1 visa, which is designed for intracompany transferees, or the E-2 visa, which is designed for individuals from treaty countries who invest in a U.S. business.  If the company has overseas offices, a temporary work abroad may provide ability to obtain L-1A or L-1B visa next year.  Some people may qualify for permanent residence through National Interest Waiver or as people of exceptional or extraordinary abilities.

If you have not been selected for the H-1B lottery, don’t give up hope. Contact Zneimer & Zneimer today for a consultation, and let our immigration attorneys help you find the best path forward. We are here to help you achieve your immigration goals and build a successful future in the United States.

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The Chicago immigration lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer are preparing for the H-1B registration.  The H-1B visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. To qualify for an H-1B visa, the job must meet the following requirements:

  1. Specialty Occupation: The job must require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific field or its equivalent.
  2. Bachelor’s degree or higher: The worker must have completed a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the specific field related to the job.
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The immigration law firm Zneimer & Zneimer is informing its clients and the public that the USCIS will open the H-1B registration period for the fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap at noon EST on March 1, 2023, until noon EST on March 17, 2023. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to complete and submit their registrations using our online H-1B registration system.  The USCIS will “assign a confirmation number to each registration submitted for the FY 2024 H-1B cap. This number is used solely to track registrations”, states USCIS.  This number cannot be used to track case status.

Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each registration submitted on behalf of each beneficiary. Prospective petitioners submitting their own registrations (U.S. employers and U.S. agents, collectively known as “registrants”) will use a “registrant” account. Registrants will be able to create new accounts beginning at noon Eastern on Feb. 21.

Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 1 to enter beneficiary information and submit the registration with the $10 fee. Prospective petitioners or their representatives will be able to submit registrations for multiple beneficiaries in a single online session. Through the account, they will be able to prepare, edit, and store draft registrations prior to final payment and submission of each registration.

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The H-1B visa registration process for FY 2024 has not been announced yet.   The immigration lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer PC are preparing for the registration period to ensure that our clients can successfully register their H-1B visa beneficiaries.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) typically opens the registration process for H-1B visas in the beginning of the year. The exact dates and details of the registration process are typically announced several weeks in advance by the USCIS. It is important to stay informed about the H-1B registration process and be prepared to submit your application as soon as the registration period opens.  We expect that USCIS will announce the registration process within the next couple of months.  Please complete and send us this H-1B Registration Form if you would like our help.

Employers who wish to sponsor an employee for an H-1B visa must create an H-1B registrant account on the USCIS website. This account allows employers to submit registrations for their employees during the H-1B registration period.

It is important for employers to stay informed about the H-1B registration process and ensure that they are following all requirements set by the USCIS. Following the USCIS’s announcements helps to ensure that the registration process runs smoothly and reduces the risk of errors or complications that could delay or prevent an employee from obtaining an H-1B visa.  To ensure compliance, employers should:

  • stay up-to-date with the latest information and changes to the H-1B registration process and requirements as announced by the USCIS.
  • review and understand the guidelines set by the USCIS for the H-1B registration process.
  • gather all required documents and information for the employee and the employer before the registration period opens.
  • double check all the information and documents for accuracy before submitting the registration.
  • consult with a qualified immigration attorney or a registered agent if in doubt.

By following these steps, employers can help ensure that their H-1B registration is complete and accurate, which will increase the chances of their employees being selected for the H-1B program.

The registrant account will require the employer to provide basic information about their company, including Employer Identification Number (EIN), company name, and contact information. Once the account is created, the employer can use it to register their employees for the H-1B visa program. It is important to note that creating an H-1B registrant account does not guarantee that an employee will be selected for the H-1B program. The number of H-1B visas available is limited and selected through a lottery system.

To ensure proper registration, we typically require the following information for H-1B registration: Continue reading →

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H-1B Chicago Immigration Lawyer

The H-1B visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, such as in the fields of technology, engineering, and science.  The H-1B status permits a foreign worker to live and work in the United States for up to six years, along with the worker’s spouse and children, unmarried and under 21, who receive H-4 status.  Some H-1B workers who are in a process of applying for permanent residence can remain in the U.S. beyond the six-year maximum.  Because immigrant visas are subject to per-country quotas, workers born in oversubscribed countries like India or China may take years, sometimes decades to receive permanent residence.   Our Chicago immigration lawyers like to point out that under current backlogs, a physician born in India will wait over 11 years in line to receive a green card.  In comparison, persons born in countries without backlogs, can immigrate as soon as the paperwork goes through, even if they are not in a professional or a specialty occupation.

If an H-1B worker is laid off, they will generally have to either find a new job and have their H-1B visa transferred to the new employer, or leave the United States.  If the H-1B worker is waiting for a green card and is in a backlogged country, the new employer will have to restart the green card from scratch, but the worker’s place in line will not change because the new petition will receive the earliest filing date from any prior petition.  If the worker is unable to find a new job and their H-1B visa is not transferred to a new employer, they will be out of status and may be subject to deportation.  When a worker falls out of status for more than 180 days, they lose their ability to receive a green card even if they are close to receiving their green card in the line. It’s important for H-1B workers who have been laid off to talk with an immigration attorney to understand their options and ensure that they are in compliance with U.S. immigration laws.

If an H-1B worker is laid off, they may be eligible for a 60-day grace period during which they can remain in the United States and look for a new job. This grace period is known as “60-day portability” and it applies to H-1B workers who have been previously granted H-1B status and who have a new, non-frivolous H-1B petition filed on their behalf within 60 days of their previous H-1B employment ending. This provision Continue reading →

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H-1B A

H-1B Approval Notice

The Chicago H-1B attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer remind clients and noncitizens that USCIS recently announced the opening of the new H-1B registration period.  The H-1B registrant account function will be available on March 2, 2021, at 12:00 noon EST at myUSCIS. Employers and attorneys who already have MyUSCIS accounts from last year do not need to create new accounts for this year.

To login or to createan account, go to, and follow the instructions.  Before starting the process, it is a good idea to watch USCIS’s instructions and check periodically USCIS’s H-1B registration page.  The option to register as H-1B registrant will not become available until March 2, 2021, at 12:00 noon EST.

During the registration period, petitioners and representatives would be able to fill out information about employers and beneficiaries and submit registrations for H-1B petitions.  The registrants must use myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary.  Each registration will cost $10.00 per person.  To submit H-1B registrations for beneficiaries,  potential petitioners must use the “registrant” account that will be available on March 2, 2021.  If USCIS receives enough H-1B registrations by March 25, USCIS will run H-1B lottery and will send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts by March 31.  Remember that submission of duplicate registration by the same petitioner for the same beneficiary will result in denial of the registration.

Only selected registrants will be able to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, and only on behalf of beneficiaries selected through the H-1B Continue reading →

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The Chicago immigration attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer PC urge employers to seek sound legal advice from experienced H-1B attorneys to avoid denials of approvable H-1B petitions.  Many cases involve information technology or business positions in new and emerging occupations grouped under the “all other” categories that fail to meet USCIS’s idea of “Specialty Occupation” requirement due to poor communication of the job duties.   When drafting a petition, it is important  to understand the industry, requirements, and the technical terms in order to explain what tasks the job involves, what knowledge the job requires, and why such knowledge is beyond the ken of a person that does not have an academic degree in a specific specialty.  Failure to understand the job itself results in a poorly drafted H-1B petition even though the petition was approvable.  HR departments that used to prepare their own H-1Bs now turn more and more to experienced attorneys to avoid the avalanche of denials.  Some heavy users of H-1B visas saw denials jump from 4% in 2015 to 40% in FY 2019  for H-1Bs for initial employment.
According to USCIS’s the top ten reasons for Requests for Evidence and subsequent denials are:

Continue reading →

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