H-1B Visas

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-Subject H-1Bs Will Be Effective October 1

On October 1, 2014, FY 2015 H-1B cap-subject visa petitions will be valid. Individuals in possession of valid H-1B petitions must take appropriate action to demonstrate work authorization for the petitioning employer. For...more

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

Health Care Provider Personally Liable for $1.1 Million Due to Improper Payroll Deductions from Foreign National Employees

The United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit has found the owner of a medical clinic personally liable for a $1.1 million award for back pay and fines because H-1B visa and J-1 waiver fees were deducted from the pay of...more

"H" is Not for Healthcare - Comments on the New Guidance for H-1B Visas for Nursing Occupations

In a recent Policy Memorandum, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("the Service") acknowledged some trends and changes in the nursing profession and offered some updated guidance to its officers who review...more

Beware of H-1B Wage Law Violations: Company to be Debarred, Ordered to Pay Over $120,000 in Penalties and Back Pay for H-1B/LCA...

A recent case before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) is a compelling reminder that violations of H-1B wage requirements can result in significant financial penalties and fines. Moreover, violations of H-1B...more

Settlement Highlights Need for Compliance with U.S. Export Control Rules When Sponsoring Foreign Workers

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security recently reached a $115,000 civil settlement agreement with a California-based global technology company on the basis that it violated several export control...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

More Executive Action on Immigration Reform: Work Authorization For H-4 Spouses

In a new draft rule notable not only for its substantive content but also for the fact that it represents another incremental immigration reform measure undertaken by executive action in lieu of stalled Congressional...more

How Can I Bring My Family to the U.S. If I Have a Temporary Work Visa?

When a foreign national comes into the U.S. under a temporary work visa, the individual often wants to bring his or her family into the U.S. as well. Depending on the work visa obtained, the duration of the stay, and the...more

Approved H-1B Visa Holders Can Start Applying For Passport Visas

Beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions with an October 1, 2014 start date may now begin filing their visa applications at U.S. consular posts. Posts are authorized to accept H visa petitions and issue visas to qualified...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

DHS Publishes Proposed Rules to Attract and Retain Highly-Skilled Immigrants

On May 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the publication of two proposed rules that reflect the Obama Administration’s “continuing commitment to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants.” ...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

Special Immigration Alert: DHS Issues Proposed Rules to Retain Highly Skilled Foreign Workers

DHS Proposes to Issue Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Spouses - On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") proposed a rule that would authorize employment authorization for certain H-4...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

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

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

DHS to Issue U.S. Work Permits for some H-4 Spouses

On May 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially announced that the United States will offer employment authorization to H-4 spouses of H-1B specialty occupation workers, under certain conditions....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

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

H-1B Cap for 2015 Fiscal Year Reached - Update

USCIS received approximately 172,500 H-1B cap-subject petitions during the filing period that began April 1 and conducted its computer-generated random selection process on April 10. ...more

Immigration Client Alert: USCIS Announces H-1B Cap Numbers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that 172,500 H-1B petitions were received during the filing period which began April 1, 2014. This number includes petitions filed under the advanced degree...more

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