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H 1B Lake Orion MI

Lake Orion's Most Trusted Legal Counsel Regarding H-1B

Immigration LawyerAfter college graduation or completion of a F-1 or J-1 program in the United States, many aliens want to lawfully remain here, instead of returning to their home countries.  One potential avenue of relief is to obtain a H-1B visa, which allows the alien the ability to continue to work and live in the United States for up to a total of 6 years.  H1-B visas are used by companies and businesses located in the United States to obtain needed skilled workers to fill open employment positions, based upon a shortage of available United States workers to fill the open job positions.  Although many aliens that receive H1-B visas are in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, H1-Bs visas apply to a diverse variety of skilled, professional job positions.

The H-1B petitioner must prove several strictly enforced conditions: the employment is for a "specialty occupation", which means that the entry level educational requirement is at least a bachelor degree in fields related to the employment; the alien qualifies as a professional; and that Labor Condition Application (LCA) is certified by the United States Department of Labor.    Sometimes aliens without advanced degrees are able to substitute work experience to compensate for the missing educational requirement.

When it comes to hiring aliens to work in the United States, the US federal government has a policy to protect United States workers from alien competition.  Employers are prohibited from seeking cheap foreign labor that is willing to work for less money than a US worker.  Under H1-B regulations, employers are required pay aliens the higher of the actual (the wage paid to other workers in similar positions) or the prevailing wage (the average salary for workers in the relevant area of employment).  The employer, in addition to paying the higher of the actual or prevailing wage, must also attest that the employment of the alien will not negatively affect the working conditions and wages of similarly employed United States workers AND the employer must notify its workers with notice of the employer's intention to hire an H1-B worker.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the responsibility to review, process, and adjudicate all H1-B visa petitions.  Due to an "H-1B cap", there are only a a limited number of H1-Bs that will be approved each year, which is often reached within days after the opening of the H1-B submission period.  Therefore, the H1-B petition must be submitted as soon as the submission period is opened to give the alien a chance to obtain an H1-B visa before the slots are filled by others.  Because the number of H1-B petitions submitted to fill US job positions greatly exceeded the number of available H1-B visas which are available, an "H1-B lottery" is conducted to determine which applications will be processed, and which ones will be rejected. One caveat with H1-B applications is that is that H1-B visas for for aliens at non-profit organizations, research institutes, educational facilities, and hospitals are often not subject to the H1-B cap, which allows employers to petition the alien at any time during the year without H1-B cap limitations.

One great aspect of receiving an H1-B visa is that the alien is allowed to have "dual intent", which means that the alien can intend to remain in the United States for either a temporary or permanent length of time.  Many aliens who obtain a H1-B visa eventually seek to obtain a green card, provided that an employer is willing to file an employment based green card application to sponsor the alien employee. 

A immigration lawyer with many years of successful business immigration law experience, such as Sufen Hilf, is recommended to handle any and all H1-B petitions for a variety of reasons:  first, Immigration laws are constantly subject to modification and change, and you need someone who is up to date on changes in law and policy; second, there are a number of situations that are more heavily scrutinized (for example: third party placement; positions at lower wage levels; H1-B visa transfers; positions that have low qualification or skill requirements; students on F-1 visas and OPT seeking a H1-B visa; etc.) which should be handled by a lawyer; third, there are many technical components to filing the H1-B petition, such as correctly completing and filing the petition, accurately providing prevailing wage information, responding to a Request for Evidence, etc. that also require a competent immigration lawyer's representation; fourth, having someone to answer questions and provide information concerning the file is an important and stress reducing part of the process.  Contact Hilf & Hilf, PLC for any and all of your immigration needs, including H1-B visa petitions.