H-1B United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

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

Cap Gap Expiration Approaching: Some Employees' Work Authorization May End on October 1, 2014

Fiscal year 2015 cap-subject H-1B petitions selected and approved by USCIS will be valid starting October 1, 2014. However, as October 1, 2014 approaches, many cap-subject H-1B petitions remain pending at both the California...more

Alert – New Scam Targets Indian H-1b Applicants

Beware of a new scam, experienced by our clients and confirmed to have occurred by the American Immigration Lawyers Association to employees of other Indian companies. Callers, posing as officers of U.S. Citizenship and...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Issues New Guidance on H-1B Status for Nurses

On July 11, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum to provide updated guidance on the adjudication of H-1B petitions for nursing positions. The memorandum was issued in response to...more

Lesser Known DOL Regulations: "Bona Fide" Terminations for H-1B Workers

Last week, we discussed whether you might be running a construction business. As I explained then, you have to look beyond the FLSA to comply with your wage and hour obligations, and that’s doubly true for employers who rely...more

Special Immigration Alert: USCIS Releases Updated Guidance on H-1B Eligibility for Nurses

On July 21, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") released a policy memorandum ("PM"), dated July 11, 2014, which provided the first new guidance on H-1B eligibility for nurses in 12 years!...more

Approved H-1B? Get the Ball Rolling on Your Consular Application Now!

Getting an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for new employment with a private employer in the United States has become an obstacle course that now even requires winning a lottery. The process has become so complicated that H-1B...more

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum Regarding H-1B Petitions for Nursing Occupations

As a general matter, most registered nurse (RN) positions do not qualify as H-1B specialty occupation positions because they do not normally require a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing or its equivalent as the...more

Immigration Corner: "Extraordinary Circumstances" Under the Child Status Protection Act, E-Verify Listens to You, and It's Time to...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an Interim Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0097) on June 6, 2014, supplementing Chapter 21.2(e) of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual regarding exercising discretion...more

USCIS H-1B Premium Processing has begun for FY 2015 Petitions

On April 28, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began premium processing for H-1B visa petitions subject to the 2015 cap, including H-1B petitions seeking an exemption from the fiscal year cap for...more

High Demand for H-1B Visa Petitions Continues

Once again, demand for H-1B visa petitions greatly exceeded the supply, as predictably, the H-1B visa quota cap for fiscal year 2015 was reached quickly. Within the first five days of the filing, USCIS reached the H-1B cap...more

Overview of U.S. Immigration Law & Procedures for Employers

In This Presentation: - Government Agencies Involved - Terms & Definitions - U.S. Citizens - Lawful Permanent Residents (Immigrants or “Green Card” Holders) - Paths to Permanent Residency -...more

Surprise Site Visits for L-1 Employers Expected

Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS), a faction of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), confirmed recently in a stakeholder teleconference that the FDNS plans to start making surprise visits to employers...more

USCIS Proposes Changes to Allow Some H-4 Spouses to Work

On May 12, 2014, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published two notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. The public is able to comment on the proposed rules during the 60-day comment period. The...more

USCIS Proposed Rule on Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses

The Department of Homeland Security has proposed to provide work authorization benefits to spouses of H-1B visa holders. If this proposal is put into effect it will allow dependents to apply for an EAD, or an Employment...more

DHS Announces New Rules To Facilitate Employment for Professionals in Efforts To Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Foreign Workers

With immigration reform at a standstill, the Obama administration is taking steps to help businesses attract and retain professionals working in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced two major...more

Work and Travel Guidance for F-1 Students with Pending H-1B “Change of Status” Applications and “Cap-Gap” Employment Authorization

This advisory summarizes key travel and employment issues if you are an F-1 student with Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment eligibility and an H-1B filing on your behalf has been accepted by US Citizenship and...more

Should the H-1B Annual Cap Be Increased?

The H-1B visa is a common immigration tool for hiring highly-skilled foreign nationals. Under the H-1 visa program, foreign workers who are employed by U.S. companies in specialty occupations that require theoretical or...more

How Businesses Can Plan for Foreign Hires in Light of H-1B Cap

Given that the H-1B visa cap was, once again, met quickly, many U.S. employers are scrambling to figure out how to hire and retain the foreign national employees that they need. As we recently reported, the U.S. Citizenship...more

Rule Allowing Work for Some H-4s, Expansion of EB1 OR Category Criteria and Automatic Work Extension for Others Progresses at...

Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is publishing two proposed rules that are meant to help “attract and retain highly skilled workers”. Proposed rules do not go into effect until notice and...more

Data Entry Completed for Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B Cap Cases

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that data entry of all FY15 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap petitions that were not selected in the lottery....more

Immigration Alert: April 2014

I. USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B Cap - As most H-1B employers know, there is an annual quota on the number of new H-1B petitions that can be approved each federal fiscal year. The quota is 65,000 for regular H-1B...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Receives Record Number of H-1B Worker Petitions; Triggers Lottery System

On April 7, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the numerical limit for the H-1B Cap has been met. The USCIS confirmed that it received 172,500 H-1B petitions in one week, exceeding the...more

H-1B Lottery Should Serve as a Reminder of the Need to Increase the Annual Cap

As we previously predicted, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) received more new H-1B petitions during the first week of April 2014 than there are visa numbers available for Fiscal Year (FY)...more

FY 2015 H-1B Visa Cap Reached

As anticipated, the 2015 H-1B visa quota was met quickly. On April 7, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000...more

Immigration Corner: H-1B CAP Reached!

The H-1B CAP season has come to a close and both employers and employees now anxiously await confirmation that their filings have been accepted for processing. The statutory cap of 65,000, as well as the 20,000 cap under the...more

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