Legal Help To Secure A Temporary Work Visa
The Law Offices of Paul Herzog has a strong focus on employment-based immigration law, including visa applications for temporary workers. We help people with specialized skills or experience obtain authorization to enter the United States to work. We also help foreign students convert from F-1 visas to H-1B work visas to continue their professional training and career development.
You will work directly with attorney Paul Herzog. They have 35 years of combined experience in U.S. employment-based immigration law, including all categories of nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers. Our Los Angeles firm assists foreign nationals throughout the United States. Call 844-859-8146 for a free initial consultation.
Postgraduation Work Visa Options (H-1B)
The H-1B visa is for nonimmigrants in specialty occupations. The Law Offices of Paul Herzog has assisted foreign nationals in many professional fields with applications for H-1B. Many of our clients are already in the United States under F-1 student visas.
While you are in F-1 practical training status, you may apply for the H-1B work visa. This visa is what 95% of foreign students who wish to work in the U.S. obtain while they are in F-1 optional practical training status (OPT). This visa category is reserved for people who have at least a bachelor’s degree from anywhere in the world and have a job offer that requires the particular degree that they already possess.
In some limited situations in which a person does not have a bachelor’s degree but does have extensive work experience, he or she may qualify if it can be established that the work experience is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. The employer must also establish that you are being paid what is considered the “prevailing wage” for the job. You can obtain a prevailing wage determination by reviewing the U.S. Department of Labor website, or perhaps even by using a private wage survey.
Quotas: How Many H-1B Visas Are Available?
Annually, 65,000 H-1B visas are available, and another 20,000 are available for those who possess a master’s or Ph.D. from a United States academic institution. The quota opens up every year on April 1, and then if your H-1B is approved, it will start in October of that year. If your Optional Practical Training (OPT) expires between April 1 and September 30, then you will need to extend your OPT until September 30 by contacting your international student adviser.
If you work for a university or a nonprofit research institution, you are not subject to the H-1B quota. Additionally, if you have already been in H-1B status for a private employer, then you are also exempt from the quota if you move to a new employer who obtains a new H-1B on your behalf.
J-1 physicians who have obtained a J visa waiver pursuant to the State 30 program are exempt from the quota. A person in H-1B status who is concurrently employed with an exempt and nonexempt employer will also not be counted toward the quota. However, if she or he ceases to be employed in a cap-exempt position, the H-1B petition with the private employer will end.
Making The Most Of H-1B Eligibility
The H-1B is valid for up to three years and can be extended a final three years. You are allowed to change employers with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permission, but you cannot spend more than six total years in H-1B status.
Many of our clients first graduate and obtain one year of practical training. Some clients use a few years of H-1B and then they go back to F-1 to obtain a graduate degree, after which they get another H-1B. This is a fairly common scenario. In this case, the client is exempt from the quota.
In addition, if you are in the middle of the green card process, it might be possible to extend beyond the normal six-year H-1B limit.
What Is The Timeline For An H-1B Visa?
The whole process, from the very beginning when we confirm the prevailing wage through our preparing the papers for the employer to submission and ultimate approval can take approximately one and a half months to six months. But, if an additional $1,440 “premium processing” filing fee is paid to the USCIS, then your case may be expedited and the whole process will take a maximum of three weeks once the application is submitted to USCIS.
Other Visas For Temporary Workers
Our attorneys have handled every type of nonimmigrant visa. We can help with your application for any of the following specialized work visas:
- H-1B1 for Singapore and Chile
- E-3 for Australian citizens
- TN for Canadian and Mexican citizens
- L-1 and L-2 intracompany transfers
- J-1 visa for physicians
- R-1 visa for religious workers
- O visas for scientists, artists, educators, athletes, business professionals, and actors and directors with extraordinary ability
- P visas for sports teams, individual athletes, artists and entertainers
These categories are subject to quotas, specific requirements and exceptions. Our attorneys can explain the criteria and what documentation you will need to qualify.
Free 15-Minute Phone Consultation
We are based in Los Angeles but provide legal counsel to foreign nationals throughout the U.S. who are seeking an H-1B or other temporary work visa. Please call us at 844-859-8146 for a consultation, at no cost or obligation, to decide if we can be of service to you. You can also use our online contact form.