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H-1B Visa Application Window Opening in April

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on March 04, 2013 9:11 AM

If your business is looking to take on foreign workers, you may want to hurry. The H-1B visa application process isn't easy, and there are only a limited supply of these visas going around.

These visas are available for businesses that want to hire foreign workers, as Forbes reminds us. They're available to workers with special skills and from certain professions. Typically, these visas will be available to teachers, scientists, and those in computer-related fields.

The visa allows the foreign worker to be employed in the United States for up to three years.

The application process isn't always that smooth. It's done on a first-come-first-served basis in many cases. It's also a process that requires an attorney who has a solid understanding of business immigration law.

The window to apply for these visas is limited. It opens April 1 and almost immediately, the visa cap is typically reached. Sometimes, the quota is exhausted within the first week.

The visas are divided by educational criteria. About 65,000 of these visas are available to workers with bachelor's degrees. For those with higher degrees, such as a Master's or a PhD, there are 20,000 visas available, if those degrees are earned at U.S. colleges.

It's generally hard to know which applications will pass muster and which ones will be tossed. That being said, an employer needs to think very carefully before sponsoring a foreign worker. For example:

  • You will have to post a notice. This notice must be posted in a conspicuous place in your business and it must signal your intent to hire an H-1B worker for a particular job listing at a particular rate.

  • You have to keep a Public Access File. That file must show how you came to determine the wage you offered the worker and what benefits the worker will be offered.

  • Academic equivalency. You will need to have records showing that the worker's academic credentials are comparable to those of a U.S. graduate.

These are only a few considerations for an employer that hires a foreign worker. To learn more about what's required in your specific situation, check out our directory of immigration attorneys.

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