H-1B Highly-Skilled Workers Visa

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly... more +
The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent." Examples of specialty occupations include chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and architecture, to name a few. Individuals may not apply for H-1B visas; they are distributed only through the approval of employer petitions. In order to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition resulting from the program, the rules require that employers pay nonimmigrant workers equivalent wages to similarly-situated U.S. workers or the industry's prevailing wage. H-1B visas are subject to a yearly cap which is currently set at 85,000.   less -
News & Analysis as of

H-1B Helps Employers Obtain Workers with Specialty Skills

Locating highly skilled, uniquely talented workers can be very difficult for some employers in the United States. In fact, year after year the demand for workers with so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and...more

Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration: An Update to Two Key Initiatives Designed to Enhance the Employment of Highly Skilled...

In November 2014, President Obama issued a number of executive actions designed to make significant changes to the U.S. immigration system. The most controversial initiatives were the deferred action policies aimed at...more

Changes Ahead for Highly Skilled Workers

On December 31, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register in furtherance of President Obama’s executive action to modernize, improve and clarify certain...more

High-Skilled Foreign Workers: New Rules From USCIS on H-1B Work Visas, AC21, I-140 Petitions and EADs

The long-awaited proposed rule — “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” (aka I-140/AC21/EAD Proposed Rule) — was published in the Federal...more

DHS Sends New STEM OPT Rule to OMB For Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent its proposed regulation on the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is...more

Immigration Laws Impacting the Workplace

The H-1B visa program has been one of the most successful programs in U.S. immigration history, allowing for U.S. entities to hire and place highly skilled workers, holding at least a bachelors’ degree or the equivalent, into...more

District Court Vacates F-1 STEM OPT Rule and Provides DHS With Six Months to Cure Defect

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia vacated the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 rule allowing F-1 students in the U.S. with college-level degrees in...more

The TN visa category: An oasis in the desert of dried up international talent pools

During the first week of April, when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepted new H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, USCIS received approximately 233,000 petitions for only 85,000 available H-1B visas...more

Dealing with Rejection: Options for Applicants Not Selected in the FY2016 H-1B Lottery

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s announcement last month that it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2016 beginning October 1, 2015—a record total, and a 35% increase over last...more

Recent changes to employing foreign workers

This month, we take a survey of recent changes affecting employers’ ability to attract and retain foreign workers. L-1B visa denials According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) data released under a...more

The 2015 STAPLE Act: Will Relief Finally Come for U.S. Employers in Need of Foreign Talent?

USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated lottery. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that...more

What H-4 Visa Holders Need to Know about Employment Authorization

Under new rules announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the end of February, beginning May 26, 2015, H-4 visa holders who are the dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible for employment...more

Overcoming H-1B Challenges – Qualifying Through Work Experience and the Three-for-One Rule

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” In simple terms, “specialty occupation” means an occupation which requires at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a professional field. ...more

Navigating H-1B Requirements: The Degree Must Relate to the Specialty Occupation

To obtain an H-1B visa, a petitioner must demonstrate that the proposed position it intends for the beneficiary to fill qualifies as a specialty occupation and that the beneficiary is qualified for that position. As defined...more

H-1B Quota for October 1: Prepare Labor Condition Applications by March 16

The U.S. government’s H-1B temporary professional worker program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals in “specialty occupation” positions that require a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Under current law, the...more

Now Is The Time To Initiate H-1B Cap Petitions For Foreign Students Or National Candidates Currently Abroad

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2016 starting April 1, 2015. The allotted number of H-1B petitions that the USCIS will accept, known as...more

Annual H-1B Visa Quota Will Open on April 1, 2015

For employers looking to bring non-U.S. citizens into the United States, an important immigration deadline is around the corner. Failure to plan properly for and meet this deadline may result in the employer’s inability to...more

H1-B Cap 2016 Filings Due In April, Competition Remains Steady

Time to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2016! Demand for the H-1B visa category has steadily increased. Last year, USCIS received 172,500 petitions for 85,000 H-1B spots. Although USCIS issues receipts in...more

Overcoming H-1B Challenges – How to Prove Specialty Occupation Eligibility

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” Specialty occupation means an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in fields...more

Immigration Law Update

The filing period for the fiscal year 2016 H-1B visa cap commences on April 1, 2015. It is expected, as has happened the last several years, that there will be a lottery based on submissions received the first week of the...more

Annual H-1B Visa Quota Available But Expected to Be Exhausted in Early April

On April 1, 2015, the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions for H-1B visas that are subject to annual quotas for the 2016 fiscal year (which would allow employees to start...more

Time to Get Ready for the H-1B Season

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field of study as a minimum for entry into...more

Will the New Technology-Focused Immigration Bill Succeed?

Technology companies, industry groups, and trade associations are enthusiastically supporting a new Senate bill that would make it easier for foreign nationals working in the technology sector to stay and work in the United...more

January 2015 Immigration Alert

Happy New Year!!! All of us in the Immigration Law Group at Epstein Becker Green wish you the very best for a healthy and prosperous 2015. We hope that all your petitions and applications are approved and that...more

Here We Go Again: H-1B Petitions Must be Filed by March 31

It is that time of year again. Immigration practitioners are gearing up for a busy H-1B season. Just as accountants have their April 15 deadline for filing tax returns, employers, foreign nationals, and immigration counsel...more

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