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

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

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

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Extension Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will resume accepting Requests for Premium Processing for all H-1B extension petitions effective July 13, 2015. Premium processing for H-1B extensions had...more

USCIS Completes Return of H-1B Petitions Not Selected in the Lottery

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 14, 2015, that it completed processing the return of fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in its “computer-generated random...more

USCIS Clarifies Position on Worksite Changes and Need to File Amended H-1B Petitions

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued guidance on changes in H-1B (visa) work locations in the wake of the Administrative Appeals Office's (AAO) April 9, 2015 decision in Matter of...more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service for H-1B Extensions

As of today, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume accepting premium processing requests for H-1B extensions. Any premium processing request for H-1B extensions received prior to July 13, 2015 will be...more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions

USCIS announced that beginning July 13, 2015, the agency will resume accepting premium processing requests for H-1B extension of stay applications. This provides an early cancellation of the previous USCIS directive...more

Employers That Need To File H-1B CAP Cases Will Now Need To Wait Until FY 2017

In April 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 85,000 total visas for fiscal year 2016, within the first week of the filing...more

Do I Really Need A Work Visa To Work In The USA?

This seems like an obvious question that only has a “YES” answer. After all, why do we have all these employment-based visa categories: H-1Bs for professionals, L-1s for intra-company transfers, E-1s and E-2s for treaty...more

Employers Beware: If You Moved an H-1B Worker Without Advising USCIS, You Have Until August 19, 2015 to Make Amends

A recent binding decision issued by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) has complicated even further the confusing rules governing employer obligations in the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program. Part of U.S....more

Job Relocations May Trigger Need for Amended H1-B Petition

Before moving an employee with an H1-B visa to a different office or worksite, the employer may have to file an amended H1-B petition, according to a recent US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Update on Visa Delays and H-1B News

Visa Delays World Wide - The Department of State (DOS) has announced that due to a central computer hardware problem, visa issuance has temporarily stopped. Applicants interviewed after June 9 will experience...more

Q&A With Kirton McConkie's Jacob Muklewicz

Jacob T. Muklewicz is a Shareholder in Kirton McConkie PC's Salt Lake City office. Muklewicz's practice focuses on business and investor immigration. He helps employers and investors obtain the proper visas for their...more

Immigration Corner: USCIS Elaborates on When to File Amendment Under Simeio

We previously provided an alert on the precedential decision Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and its holding that an H-1B amendment must be filed whenever a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) is required to change an H-1B...more

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