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H-1B Application Season Begins

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.
  3. Labor Condition Application: The employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL) and provide evidence that the wages and working conditions of the H-1B worker will be similar to those of U.S. workers in the same occupation.
  4. Employer-Employee Relationship: There must be an employer-employee relationship between the H-1B worker and the U.S. employer, meaning that the employer has the right to control the worker’s work schedule, location, and duties.
  5. Cap: The number of H-1B visas issued each fiscal year is capped at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 available for those who have earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.

It’s important to note that certain jobs are not eligible for H-1B classification, such as jobs that are self-employed, independent contractors, or are not considered a “specialty occupation.”  Additionally, there is a difference between H-1B petition and H-1B status.  H-1B petition is the step of the H-1B process that refers to the application that the employer must file to sponsor an H-1B worker. H-1B status is the status granted to the worker once the petition has been approved and refers to the worker’s legal status in the U.S.  The H-1B status depends on prior immigration history of the H-1B worker and their ability to show that they can be admitted to H-1B status.

The H-1B visa program is intended for highly skilled foreign professionals, such as scientists, engineers, IT professionals, and other specialized fields. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes the final determination of whether the job and the candidate meet the requirements for an H-1B visa. Employers and employees should consult an immigration lawyer or expert in H-1B visa process to ensure that they meet all the requirements and to avoid any potential complications.

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