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H-1B Visa Lawyers

Are you a foreign national with a professional degree? If you have the required education and training, an H-1B visa may enable you to live and work temporarily in the United States.

Call our H-1B visa lawyers in Chicago or Dallas for a consultation. We’ll discuss your immigration options, help you gather the necessary documents, and assist you in preparing for your journey.

Our lawyers draw upon over 30 years of experience to help immigrants with professional degrees come to the United States to live and work. When you hire our law firm, we will:

  • Ensure that you and your employer meet the USCIS requirements for an H-1B visa.
  • Guide your employer through registering with the USCIS.
  • Help your employer obtain a Labor Certification and file an H-1B petition.
  • Help you apply for your H-1B visa, file H-1B extensions, or apply for your green card.
Immigration lawyers Vivian Khalaf and Omar Abuzir
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    We Can Help with the H-1B Process for Professional Degree Holders

    Our immigration lawyers can help you meet the USCIS deadlines and make sure that your paperwork is filled out correctly. Avoiding small mistakes on your applications and meeting required timeframes can help you reduce the risk of processing delays or a denial of your visa. If you are a professional degree holder seeking an H-1B visa, the process typically involves:

    • Employer Sponsorship: An employer files a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor, attesting to fair wages and working conditions, then submits the H-1B petition to USCIS. The H-1B petition is also known as the I-129 petition for nonimmigrant workers.
    • USCIS Petition Review: USCIS assesses the petition for eligibility and compliance. If approved, you can proceed with visa processing.
    • Consular Processing or Change of Status: If outside the U.S., you need to obtain an H-1B visa at a U.S. consulate. If already in the U.S., you must apply for a change of status to the H-1B visa.
    • Entry or Change of Status: Once approved, you can enter the U.S. or change your status to commence work for the sponsoring employer under the approved H-1B visa.

    What Are Some Challenges for Professional Degree Immigrants?

    Navigating the U.S. job market poses challenges for professional degree immigrants. You can encounter hurdles like credential recognition, language proficiency requirements, and limited professional networks. Additionally, cultural differences and unfamiliarity with local work practices can impede your integration once you have arrived in the U.S. 

    Overcoming these obstacles often requires retraining, acquiring additional certifications, or seeking mentorship to secure positions compatible with your qualifications. Additionally, you might encounter issues related to visa extensions, career progression, and employer sponsorship for your permanent residency, impacting your long-term prospects in the U.S.

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    Current Immigration Policies in the U.S. for H-1B Visas

    U.S. immigration policies for H-1B visas include a lottery system due to visa caps, wage-based selection criteria, and efforts to prioritize high-skilled workers. Policies and regulations regarding visas are constantly evolving, so staying updated on current guidelines is advisable. Our H1-B Visa attorneys will help make sure you are staying within current USCIS regulations for eligibility and requirements. 

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    Caps for H-1B Visas

    The H-1B visa program in the U.S. sets an annual cap on the number of visas available, often oversubscribed due to high demand. Currently, 65,000 visas are allotted for general applicants. An additional 20,000 are reserved for individuals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities. This cap system leads to a competitive application process, where many qualified candidates vie for a limited number of available visas, sometimes resulting in a lottery selection for successful applicants.

    What Are the Benefits of an H-1B Visa?

    The H-1B visa, also referred to as the “H-Professional Degree Visa,” offers several benefits for qualified individuals seeking employment in the United States. Some advantages to this type of visa include:

    1. Employment Opportunities: If you have specialized knowledge or professional skills, this visa allows you to work for U.S. employers, fostering career growth in various industries, such as technology, finance, healthcare, and more.
    2. Long-Term Stay: Initially granted for up to three years and extendable to a total of six years, the H-1B visa permits you to work and contribute within the U.S. for a substantial period.
    3. Pathway to Permanent Residency: If you hold an H-1B, you may seek permanent residency (a green card) through employer sponsorship during your stay, providing a route to establish permanent ties in the country.
    4. Dependents’ Benefits: Your immediate family members (spouse and children under 21) can accompany you under the H-4 visa category. This allows your dependents to study or work part-time in the U.S.
    5. Portability: You can change employers once a new employer files a petition on your behalf, facilitating flexibility and job mobility within the visa regulations.
    6. Dual Intent: Under the H-1B visa, you can pursue a green card without jeopardizing your visa status, allowing you to concurrently seek permanent residency while working in the U.S.

    These benefits make the H-1B visa an attractive option for skilled professionals seeking employment opportunities and long-term or permanent residency in the United States.

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    Immigration lawyer Omar Abuzir
    Omar A. Abuzir
    Immigration Lawyer
    Chicago immigration lawyer Vivian Khalaf
    Vivian Khalaf
    Immigration Lawyer

    Client Testimonials

    5 stars
    “Working with the lawyers at ImmigrationJD was an experience that was unexpected. It was a breeze obtaining my permanent residency and the attorney was with me every step of the way. The process was exactly as it was explained to me at the start and there were no surprises! I highly recommend this law firm”
    ~Juma Amin
    5 stars
    “It was very difficult for me to be separated from my husband while he was overseas waiting for the processing of his immigration papers at the U.S. embassy. My attorney made the process move quicker than I anticipated by being on top of it and making sure the documents were completed properly and efficiently. I was never kept in the dark and updated frequently. We will be back to ImmigrationJD as soon as my husband is ready to file for citizenship”.
    ~Regina

    How Long Can an H-1B Worker Stay in the United States?

    H-1B workers can typically stay in the United States for an initial period of three years. This time initial stay can be extended for up to six years in total. After this duration, you are required to leave the U.S. for at least one year before becoming eligible for another H-1B visa, unless you obtain a green card or qualify for an exemption. 

    Extensions beyond the six-year limit can be possible under certain circumstances, such as pending employment-based green card applications or certain exceptions outlined in U.S. immigration regulations. Our H-1B visa lawyers can evaluate your situation to determine whether an exception applies to you.

    FAQs About H-Professional Degree

    How Can an H-1B Worker Change Employers?

    To change employers, H-1B workers need the new employer to file a I-129 petition with the USCIS. Once the petition is approved, the worker can start working for the new employer. However, he or she can’t begin working for the new employer until the USCIS receives the petition, unless he or she transfers from another H-1B employer.

    Are There Any Minimum Wage Requirements for H-1B Workers?

    H-1B workers in the United States must be paid the higher of either the actual wage paid to other employees with similar experience and qualifications for the same job at the company, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of employment. This ensures that H-1B workers are compensated fairly and not paid below the established standards.

    What Is the Cap on the Number of H-1B Visas Issued in the United States?

    The standard cap is 65,000 visas, with an additional 20,000 visas set aside for individuals who have earned advanced degrees from U.S. universities. The cap is subject to change based on government policies, exemptions, or agreements between countries impacting the visa allocation.