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

Hybrid Visa Offers Alternative to Limited H-1B Visa

For an ever-increasing number of U.S. employers, the start of another calendar year also means H-1B season has arrived. However, given the competitive nature of the H-1B program, many employers are turning to an alternative...more

H-1B Petition Deadline is April 1: Employers Need to Act Now

This is a quick reminder that employers should prepare now if they plan to file H-1B petitions on April 1, 2016 for the fiscal year commencing Oct. 1, 2016. It is expected that the demand for H-1Bs will be very strong once...more

H-1B Cap season is upon us

On April 1, 2016, the H-1B quota will open, making available 65,000 new H-1B visa numbers for professionals working in occupations requiring at least a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent based on a combination of education...more

New Bill Increases L-1 and H-1B Visa Application Fees for Certain Companies

Last week, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 which provides full-year appropriations through September 2016 for all government agencies. Included in this bill are fee increases for certain L-1...more

It’s Time to Prepare H-1B Visa Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017

It’s never too early to begin preparing for H-1B cap filings! This alert is a reminder of the April 1, 2016 deadline for the filing of H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year 2017. Petitions for the new fiscal year, which will be...more

Planning Ahead: H-1Bs for FY2017

As a reminder to all U.S. employers, H-1B season is almost here! United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start accepting new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2017 on Friday, April 1, 2016. As such,...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rules to Extend the Program Have Been Proposed

On October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published eagerly anticipated proposed STEM OPT Extension rules that, if adopted would allow U.S. employers greater flexibility for employing foreign nationals...more

DHS Proposes New Rule for STEM OPT Extension

New rule would extend STEM optional practical training to 24 months. On October 19, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

Department of Homeland Security Regulation Benefitting STEM Employers Thrown into Question

A federal district judge recently issued a 37-page decision vacating a 2008 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation that has helped thousands of U.S. companies hire and retain foreign students holding U.S. degrees in...more

Public Law 111-230 H-1B, L-1 Additional Fees Expire

H-1B and L-1 petitions filed on or after Oct. 1, 2015, should not include the additional fee that was previously required by Section 402 of Public Law 111-230, as amended by Public Law 111-347, for certain H-1B and L-1...more

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 on April 1, 2016

The filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (or H-1B cap) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will begin on Friday, April 1, 2016. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date...more

A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers

Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were...more

USCIS Issues New Procedures for Determining Time for Filing Green Card Application

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promulgated new procedures for determining the visa availability date for individuals waiting to file employment- and family-based applications for...more

US Visa Options for Foreign Entrepreneurs

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 400,000 new businesses are started annually in the United States. If you’re a foreign citizen who is interested in launching a new business in the United States, a corporate...more

H-1B Alternatives Series: Concurrent H-1B Employment

In 2014, Massachusetts created the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program (GEIR), a program meant to capitalize on the opportunities provided by concurrent H-1B employment. Under this program, universities partnered with...more

Department of State Releases October 2015 Visa Bulletin

A new category of “filing” cutoff dates has been introduced to allow for earlier filing of adjustment of status applications and immigrant visa applications. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2015...more

H-1B Alternative Series: Flexibility in Foreign Trade and Treaty Visas

Our series exploring alternatives to the H-1B continues with foreign trade and treaty visas. Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? Is your client from one of the 79...more

Obergefell Expands The Number Of Individuals Potentially Eligible To Apply For Immigration Benefits

Obergefell effectively expands the number of individuals who would be eligible to submit immigration applications on behalf of a same-sex spouse because same sex marriage is now legal across the country, rather than in a...more

Immigration Corner: Time to Get Simeio-Compliant, Faster H-1Bs, a Permanent Resident Card Refresher and Increased Security...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now published a final policy memorandum designed to bring employers into compliance with the ruling in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and to assess whether H-1B...more

H-1B Alternatives Series: The little known but useful B-1 in lieu of H-1B

Was your petition one of the estimated 148,000 not selected in this year’s H-1B lottery? In a series of posts we will explore alternatives to the H-1B. The B-1 visa category traditionally permits foreign individuals...more

Work Program for Foreign Students: Changes are in the Offing After a Federal Judge Curtails the Program

On August 12, 2015, a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improperly enacted a 2008 rule extending “Optional Practical Training” (OPT) for eligible foreign students in STEM...more

Federal Court Ruling Puts STEM OPT Extension in Jeopardy

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for...more

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