Time is Ticking, Have You Started Your HB Visa Application?
If you’re thinking about applying for your HB visa, you need to get moving...fast! The deadline is April 2nd, 2018 but there are a few prerequisites to gather in order for you to submit and have a fighting chance to be selected.
Trump’s “Buy America, Hire America” campaign will put more visa applications under scrutiny this year, but don’t stress, we’ve compiled a quick recap from our Lunch and Learn session with Jason Finkelman of Finkelman Immigration Law Firm to help you prepare.
Here are the 3 big points you should know:
- You must have at least a bachelor’s degree that relates to the position you will be working in
- If you have a U.S. Master’s degree or higher you have 2 chances in the H-1B visa lottery
- There are several prerequisite filing steps that must be completed and certified before you can submit your H-1B petition to USCIS on April 2nd, which means the time to prepare is NOW (and certainly no later than the second week of March).
It is likely that USCIS will receive in excess of 85,000 H-1B visa petitions on April 2nd, which means H-1B petitions will be selected for processing by random computer-generated lottery. Although the system doesn’t cater to any specification (job title, company, age, or region), you still have to beat out the excess amount of submissions sent in each year; this past year USCIS received over 199,000 H-1B visa petitions (YIKES!).
The Money Question: How much does it cost?
When applying for the HB you have two fundamental costs: USCIS filing fees and legal fees. All of these fees MUST be paid by the employer. USCIS filing fees depend on the size of the employer, so employers with 25 or more employees will spend approximately $2,500 and employers with 25 or less employees will spend approximately $1,800.
For those who already have an H-1B visa and are changing employers or filing an extension, you will not be subject to the H-1B visa lottery (although your employer will have to pay the fees again to renew or file an H-1B visa extension for you). Certain employers (i.e. Universities and certain non-profits) are exempt from the H-1B visa cap, which means an employer can file an H-1B visa for you at any time during the year and will not be subject to the H-1B visa lottery.
Although this can be a stressful and time-consuming process for applicants, we wish you the best of luck applying for your visa this year! For more resources, please don’t hesitate to visit finkelmanlaw.com.