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Information on H1B Visa Application Process


H1B Visa:
The US H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc
  
Any professional level job that usually requires you to have a bachelors degree or higher can come under the H-1B visa for specialty occupations. If you do not have a bachelors degree or higher you may be able to show degree equivalence through work experience and/or other qualifications and apply for H1B Visa Jobs in USA.

However, because of the visa cap it is unlikely that an H-1B visa petition will be successful. The US employer petitions for the H-1B Visa in the US which has a duration of up to 6 years.

H1B Visa Application Process:
H1B visas are highly sought after by foreign professionals and U.S. employers for their multitude of benefits. These non-immigrant visas are intended for workers who possess specialty skills, often requiring an advanced degree. Because this visa is so competitive, it requires that all applicants follow a very specific H1B visa process to apply.

With the 2017-2018 H1B season quickly approaching, individuals are gathering the necessary documents in preparation for the April 1st filing date. Due to the annual quota/cap imposed on H1B visas and the increasing competition, it’s best to get started right away in order to identify your H1B needs and develop a filing strategy.

Types of H1B Visa Processing Time:
STANDARD PROCESSING / REGULAR PROCESSING
If your employer files your H1B application without paying any extra fee, then it is called as H1B regular processing. In fact, if there is no specific name tied to processing, it is considered as regular processing. Usually with premium processing, you will need to pay extra fee for faster decision.
PREMIUM PROCESSING
Premium processing is a type of expedited processing option for H1B from USCIS, to have your application decision within 15 calendar days. It is very important to note that it is 15 calendar days, not 15 business days. The current fee for Premium Processing of H1B application is about $1,225 USD. Usually, if you want to have a decision faster and not wait for longer period of time, especially, if you have filed your petition as a transfer or extensions of your employment and you need a decision soon, then you would go for it. In regular processing ther eis no SLA, but here in premium processing you have about 15 days as SLA. Premium Processing is available for a host of visa types, including H1B visa, which is filed using I-129 form.
USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if:
  • A petitioner filed H-1B petitions prior to May 26, 2015, using the premium processing service, and 
  • USCIS did not act on the case within the 15-calendar-day period.
Get more important details on H1B Visa Process at: 

What is the main Difference between Regular vs Premium Processing H1B Visa Petition ?
The fundamental difference between both are the SLA or deadline for USCIS to make a decision on your petition. If you file your petition under H1B premium processing, USCIS has to make a decision on your case within 15 calendar days. But, you will have to pay more for that service. As of now, you will need to pay $1225 USD extra besides regular H1B filing fee, if you want to file your petition under premium processing.

Should you apply for Premium H1B Visa Processing ?
Honestly, unless there is a need, you do not need to apply for premium processing. Think of it logically, you cannot work until October 1st…why waste money ? I understand the decision part for preparation and other stuff. Unless, there is a need there is no point. H1B transfers usually apply for premium because of two reasons, first they can work right away and need not wait till October 1st and secondly they are changing between companies, you do not want to be stuck with old employer during this time. You can consider doing premium, when you are at the end of September. To add, USCIS suspended H1B Premium Processing for FY 2018 , so technically you cannot file H1B under premium processing for 2018 season.

H1B Visa Process Quota/Cap Count
Do you know which category you fit in?
The 2017-2018 H1B cap is 85,000 petitions. The regular quota (first category) allows for 65,000 petitions. The second category is reserved for the Masters’ quota and sets aside an additional 20,000. In conjunction with the Free Trade Agreement, 6,800 spots are reserved for citizens of Singapore and Chile as part of the 65,000 spots in the regular quota.
Can I Qualify for an Exemption?
You may qualify for the master’s cap if you received your degree from a U.S. based institution that is public or non-profit in nature and has been recognized by a national accrediting agency as being accredited. It’s best not to assume that your particular institution is accredited.

There have even been cases in the past where accreditation was revoked due to violations or even a school shut down altogether. The H1B visa process involves many steps, including confirming your eligibility.Another exemption is if the petition is filed by a nonprofit organization or institute of higher learning. In that case, you may not be subject to the cap. For more H1B filing tips in regards to exemptions its best to explain your situation to a qualified immigration attorney.

Challenges Faced to Get H1B Visa:
In this section, we feel it’s necessary to address some challenges faced exclusively to startups and small businesses. USCIS makes it a point to determine whether the petitioning employer has the cash flow necessary and policies set up to pay their H1B employer the wages quoted in the LCA. Unlike large companies, small companies may face difficulties demonstrating these qualifications at the onset of operations.

Another issue often confronted by petitioners who are also the founders or co-founders of the business is distinguishing a clear employer/employee relationship. Since the petitioner (in this scenario) is one and the same, USCIS may require additional documentation supporting a separate Board of Directors with the ability to supervise and issue compensation.

You can check all the requirements for H1B Visa in details at: H1B Visa Requirements

So now you get all the information on H1B Visa Process but its not over yet, There are following Top 10 Tips for filling H1B Visa check it out.

Top 10 H1B Filing Tips Revealed : 
  1. Get your petition in as soon as the window opens!
  2. Filing petitions with multiple employers may be an effective strategy.
  3. Employers–Check if the foreign worker has been previously counted against the cap.
  4. Provide adequate evidence showing the employer can pay the prevailing wage.
  5. Double check all mailing addresses and sections that require a signature. 
  6. Part-time workers can also file an H-1B petition.
  7. Don’t be misled into thinking that premium processing will increase your chances.
  8. Your specialty occupation must be related to your degree.
  9. Processing costs must be paid to the USCIS by the employer.
  10. Have a qualified immigration attorney review all the paperwork.
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