Tag Archives: H1B Visa

H-1B to Green Card Processing Time

H1B Visa

Once you have your H-1B, you may want to pursue permanent residence here in the U.S. There are several ways you can do this, with the most common one being through your H-1B employer. Getting an employment-based green card from H-1B status requires several complicated steps and is best done with the help of an attorney.

That being said, the path from an H-1B visa to a green card is relatively straightforward and is taken by tens of thousands of nonimmigrants every year. This straightforwardness is due to the fact that the H-1B is both extremely popular and also considered to have dual intent, meaning that applying for a green card will not jeopardize your nonimmigrant H-1B status. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators.

The first step is to find an employer who will sponsor you. This can be your current H-1B employer or a different U.S. employer. The type of green card you pursue should be based on your skills, qualifications, and the position you are being offered.

Here are some common choices for H-1B holders:

1. EB-1C:

This is for multinational executives and managers (though you must have worked for the multinational company’s foreign branch for at least one year in the three years leading up to your green card application)

2. EB-2:

You can merit this by means of having an advanced degree (and a job that requires that degree)

3. EB-3:

Because you must have at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for an H-1B, that will land you in the wheelhouse for this green card. Although the outcome—legal permanent residence valid for 10 years at a time—is the same, these options differ in two ways: requirements and processing time. We’ve already mentioned the requirements, now let’s talk about how they differ in terms of processing time.

Just like the H-1B application is the I-129 petition, employment-based green cards require the I-140 petition. Once your employer fills this out, sends it, and the USCIS receives it, that date will be your personal priority date. Keep this date handy, since you will need to use it in the coming months. To know more info on H1B Visa  visit Byteintobigdata

You will need to check the Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin regularly to check the posted “final action dates”. These are constantly changing and are assigned to you based on your country of origin and the green card you have petitioned for. For example, the final action date for an EB-1 applicant from Australia will likely be different than an EB-3 applicant from India.

The final action dates move based on how many people from each country (or group of countries) petitioned for the same green card. Usually, the date moves forward, closer to your priority date.

However, if too many people from India apply for the EB-2, then the date could end up not moving at all or even moving backward in a process called retrogression. Once the final action date in your category matches or passes your priority date, the latter will be considered current and you will be able to move onto the next step.

Finally, once your priority date is current, you will need to decide between two options: adjustment of status and consular processing.

Because you are in the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa status (H-1B), you will be able to file an I-485 form to have your nonimmigrant status adjusted to an immigrant one. It can take about six months to process the I-485 depending on the service center and there is no way to expedite the process.

On the other hand, it may be faster for you to travel to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country in a method called consular processing. This involves making an appointment with the consulate or embassy and appearing for a one-on-one interview with a consular officer. Depending on your situation this can make the H-1B to green card processing time shorter and the cost cheaper.

Getting An H-1B Visa FAQs

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The most frequently asked questions about the 2019-2020 H-1B visa process answered!

Can a foreign national file more than one petition to get H-1B visa this year?

If you have more than one H-1B sponsor or intend to perform work for multiple employers, they each need to file a petition. Conversely, USCIS will deny or revoke multiple petitions filed on behalf of a foreign worker by the same employer and is not responsible for refunding those duplicate filing fees.

Can I work anywhere in the country with an approved H-1B visa?

Yes, though there are some stipulations. The USCIS takes into consideration a number of factors including your geographic location when issuing an H-1B approval. They’ll check that your employer complies with the prevailing wage in the location noted on the petition so technically the approval is specific to that location (not the entire country). Throughout the course of your work, if the location changes, you’ll need to submit an amendment with the new location indicated. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators.

How do I locate a sponsor to get H-1B visa the coming fiscal year?

There are a number of ways to get sponsored by a company for an H-1B visa. Some of these options include searching through sponsoring company databases, starting with an internship and progressing to visa sponsorship and channels through American-based universities. Here’s an extra H-1B filing tip: A list of H-1B sponsors is published quarterly on behalf of the Labor Department.

Another option at your disposal is to search through employment sites. There, you can conduct a more specific search with your personal information. An unofficial list of H-1B sponsors from recent years can be found here. [Disclaimer: We take no responsibility for inaccuracies of unofficial data sources.]

How many filing checks do I need to submit to get an H-1B visa this season?

According to the I-129, checks should be made out to the “Department of Homeland Security” for each filing fee (fraud fee, premium processing, I-129, ACWIA training fee). Employers may submit one check or money order to cover both the base filing fee and ACWIA training fee. However, the fraud and premium processing fees should be separate. As mentioned in the top ten H-1B filing tips, double check the address before mailing.

If your employer qualifies for the Public Law 114-113 fee, then that check must be made out separately to the Department of Homeland Security.

What fees are my employer specifically responsible for in the H-1B visa process?

By law, the employer is supposed to pay the training fee (if applicable) and the fraud fee. If the employer tells you that you are responsible for all USCIS fees, be aware that this is prohibited and you should not enter into a reimbursement agreement with them.

In what way would a maternity leave or sick leave impact my status?

Sick leave, vacation time, or maternity leave do not typically impact your H-1B status.

Am I able to get six additional years on H-1B status if I was previously on H-1B then switched to F-1?

You do not get an additional six-year “reset” unless you first leave the country for a minimum of a year. Otherwise, the time that you were previously accruing on H-1B will be applied to your current six-year limit.

Why do some H-1B petitions take longer than others?

If two H-1B petitions are filed at the same time during the H-1B visa process, there’s no guarantee that they will be approved within the same time frame. This is because each USCIS service center has a different workload so it’s hard to predict when the paperwork will be addressed. To know more information on  H1B Visa check Stsoft

Can I change my status to H-4 if my spouse and I are both H-1B visa holders?

You are permitted to do this and the process begins by filing a change of status application with USCIS to H-4. You need to demonstrate that both you and your spouse are keeping current legal status in the country. Until the application gets approved, it’s usually best for the spouse seeking H-4 to continue working (until an approval is solidified). There are other options to conduct a change of status but it’s best to discuss these with an immigration attorney.

Where should the petition be filed?

Consult the direct filing addresses located on the I-129 form.

What H-1B Requirements Must I Meet?

H1B Visa

There aren’t many visas that can match the popularity of the H-1B. With it’s portability, dual intent status, and relatively low requirements, it is easy to see why tens of thousands of immigrants apply for this visa every year. Whether you are the beneficiary of the visa or an employer, it is important to know what the H-1B requirements are before getting started on the filing process to avoid any unwanted mistakes or delays.

Here is a quick rundown of the H-1B requirements:

A. You must have a minimum educational level of a bachelor’s degree

B. You must have a valid job offer from a U.S. employer

C. That job must be for a specialty position that requires the use of your degree

While these may seem simple enough, let’s break them down so that the ambiguity is dispelled. Remember, the USCIS rarely gives refunds and the regulations are usually very strict, especially with a visa that is in such high demand. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators.

Educational Requirement

Firstly, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree that is relevant to your position. If you have 12 or more years of experience in a related field, you may be able to meet this H-1B requirement without a bachelor’s degree. However, it is far from guaranteed. Speak with your immigration attorney to determine if your experience can substitute for a degree.

Job Offer

Even though this H-1B requirement seems self-explanatory, issues arise when the relationship between employee and employer is called into question. This can create problems, especially when the beneficiary is self-employed. While it is possible to start a business on an H-1B visa, there are special steps that must be taken to meet this requirement.

Other than that, you need to make sure that your employer has the ability to control your job duties, your wages, and your employment status. As a contractor or agent, you need to make it clear in the petition how your employer-employee relationship meets this H-B requirement.

Specialty Occupation

For the position to qualify as a “Specialty Occupation,” the position is obligated to fulfill at least one of the listed requirements:

A. The position must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent to enter.

B. The position is so complex or specialized that it only can accept professionals who have a bachelor’s degree or higher. An educational degree is a typical requirement for the position within the industry.

C. The employer generally obligates candidates to have an educational degree or its foreign equivalent to operate in the position.

Be aware that there is a cap on the number of H-1B visas allotted. Learn more about the H-1B Visa Cap. For more info on H1B Visa  check Stsoft

For the applicant to qualify for a “specialty occupation”, the applicant must satisfy one of the listed categories:

1. Hold a U.S. bachelors or higher degree from an accredited university that can fulfill the requirements of the specialty occupation.

2. Obtain a foreign equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher that can satisfy the requirements of the specialty occupation.

3. Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that allows the applicant to have no limitations when engaging in the specialty occupation.

4. The applicant must have received training, education, or work experience that is required for the completion of the degree. The applicant is mandated to have been acknowledged in the area of expertise. The applicant is obligated to have participated in positions essential to the specialty occupation.

5. The applicant’s potential employer is required to have an authorized ETA-9035 form along with an approved Labor Certification Application, I-129 form, and a Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker.

H-1B Visa Stamping Process

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H-1B Visa stamping requires the foreign professional to have had their petition approved. Once the petition has been approved it is time to schedule an H1B visa interview. Scheduling the interview may be conducted at the closest U.S. consulate or embassy. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

The H-1B Visa Stamping process should be implemented in the following order:

1. Retrieve a photo.

The H-1B visa photo must meet specific requirements.

A. It must be a square photo

B. Dimensions: Minimum of 600 pixels by 600 pixels, maximum of 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels.

C. It is required to be in color

D. It must be saved in JPEG format

E. The size of the photo cannot be more than 240 kilobytes.

2. H-1B Visa Application Form DS-160

A. Form DS-160 can only be completed online at the Department of State.

B. A 10-digit bar code will appear on the confirmation form. Be sure to print the confirmation form and save for                future use. This will be necessary for the scheduled interview.

3. Complete application payment and schedule the appointment.

After paying the required fees, the foreign professional must schedule two appointments. One will be with the Offsite Facilitation Center and the other will be with the consulate or embassy. Don’t forget your fingerprints. The Visa Application Center (VAC) obligates the foreign professional to schedule an appointment a minimum of two days before the scheduled interview with the consulate/embassy. The Visa Application Center requires the foreign professional to provide biometrics information. For H1B Visa Evaluation Visit here

A. There is a fee associated with the H-1B application. This fee can be processed electronically.

B. To secure payment approval, create a user profile with the U.S. Visa Service website. Select ‘Schedule                             Appointment.’ A payment confirmation page should appear. This page will allow the applicant to select the best-         fitted payment information for the individual. The payment is only valid for a year, so it is important to schedule          the appointment within that time.

4. The Interview.

Go to the indicated consulate for the interview. All the following documents must be presented:

A. Current and expired passports

B. Photo (Dimensions are provided above)

C. DS-160 Visa Application confirmation page with VAC stamp.

D. Visa application receipt

E. Petition related documents

F. Appointment Letter

G. Any supplementary documentation.