Introduction to H1B visas:
H visa is the non-immigrant work visa in the United States. This visa enables a US organization to hire an individual from another country for up to six years. Companies usually hire staff on H visa and after spending few years working in United States they can apply for a Green Card. Only an organization can apply for H visa on behalf of their employees to allow him/her to work in the U.S. H visa has yearly quotas for every country so employer can’t hire any number of employees he wants. There are two type of work visas, H-1B and H-2B.
Who can get United States H-1B work visa?
Not everyone can get The H-1B visa. It is designed for staff in “specialty occupations”. The specialty occupations require a high degree of specialized knowledge. Normally, you must have at least 4-year Bachelor’s degree or higher. Professionals such as doctors, accountants, lawyers etc still need to get a license before they practice in the state of intended employment. A lawyer will give a New York State exam if he wants to work in New York etc. Non-graduates may be employed on H-1B visa where they claim to be graduate equivalent by virtue experience in the occupation for twelve years or more.
Who can get United States H-2B work visa?
Employer can apply for a H-2B visa for candidates who lacks qualification/experience for H1B visa. H-2B visa is an expensive and time consuming process that involves extensive advertising for the position. The employer will then have to satisfy the authorities that there is no US worker available to do that job. Only then they grant permission to issue an H-1B visa for 1 year initially which could be extended to a maximum of 3 years as after 3 years the employer have to go through the whole process again. Due to the lengthy and expensive process, employers do not prefer to hire employees on H2B visas. Even with the annual quota of 66,000 for H-2B visas, only few thousand are ever issued.
Can my relative who has a business sponsor me an H-1B visa?
We think that if our relative has a business (Any Nature) in United States, he can sponsor us a work visa and we can start working immediately. It’s not true and easy, it involves lots of time, effort and money. Apart from the whole lengthy process, he has to pay lots of fees to sponsor a work visa.
Any US employer can sponsor an H-1B petition; however, he must have an IRS Tax Number, also known as Tax ID Number. To get this number, employer must obtain approval of the Labor Condition Application (LCA), which is an essential preliminary to the H-1B petition itself. It’s not simple to get this number as the employers will have to take number of undertakings, enforceable by heavy civil and criminal penalties: These undertakings are:-
- To pay the H-1B sponsored worker at least the higher of the wage paid to employees doing similar duties in the same company.
- That the recruitment of the H-1B workers will not adversely affect the conditions of the existing US resident employees in similar roles.
- That there is no strike or lockout occurring at the time the Labor Condition Application is submitted.
- That a copy of the Labor Condition Application form will be given to the H1B worker and either given to the bargaining representative of employees in similar occupations or (if there is no bargaining representative) posted in 2 conspicuous locations for at least 10 days in the place the H1B alien will be working.
- To maintain records of the Labor Condition Application and the H-1B alien’s employment for inspection by the US Department of Labor.
What is the fee for sponsoring a work visa (H-1B)?
Please find below the breakup of the various fee paid by the employer related to filing a H1B visa petition with USCIS for fiscal year 2013. Please note that attorney fees in not included in it which can cost around $2000.
|Base filing fee||$325|
(American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998)
|$750 (For employers with 1 to 25 equivalent employee)
$1,500 (For employers with 26 or more full time equivalent employee)
|Fraud prevent & detection fee||$500|
|Fee based on Public Law 111 – 230||$2000
H-1B fee $2000 rule applies to some cases
|Premium processing fee (Optional)||$1,225 ( if you intend to do premium)|