An H1-B visa is a work visa that is issued by the USCIS. It is a type of work visa that allows people to work in the US. US companies use H-1B visas to hire people with specific skills that the general working population does not have. H1-B visas are valid for 3 years.
The visa can be extended for another 3 years for an overall 6-year period. Theoretically and practically, H1-B immigrants are eligible for an immigration visa because of specific knowledge. Applicants must have a minimum Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
One of the solutions for companies facing a huge labor shortage is to hire foreign workers through specialty occupation visas, such as H1-B visas. So, H1-B visa sponsorship is when companies sponsor foreign-born individuals to work in the United States temporarily.
The H1-B sponsorship process involves the employer filing the visa application with US government. If the employee is approved for H1-B sponsorship, the employer will be responsible for providing all of the employee’s benefits, including health benefits, life insurance, stock options, and bonuses.
The H1-B sponsorship process is complex and entails many details. You should go through it with the help of an immigration attorney in Texas. Before you start posting jobs across borders, here are a few things you need to know about sponsoring foreign employees for specialty H1-B visas.
The meaning of H1-B visa
An H1-B visa is issued to a United States company or an employer wishing to hire a foreign national. This is for employment purposes in the US in what is referred to as a “specialty occupation.”A company or an employer may apply for an H1-B visa to hire an immigrant worker.
An H1-B visa is issued to a candidate who meets the minimum educational requirements and possesses specialized skills that allow the candidate to perform the job duties for which he or she is applying. Learn more about what an H1-B visa is from an immigration attorney in Texas.
H1-B visas are issued to non-citizens scheduled to work under a specialty occupation. Their future employer can sponsor them for H1-B visas. Non-citizens must have at least a bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an approved university. Higher education students can also be sponsored for H1-Bs.
The employer must demonstrate that the third country national has the education. In some cases, work experience required to carry out the duties of the role may be enough. Specialized workers can work in medical, business, engineering, and technology services.
What makes the H1-B different?
There are different types of nonimmigrant visa for your company to hire foreign nationals. However, H1-IB is the simplest visa for a foreigner to become a green card holder. This is because it is a “dual intent” visa. An H1-B employee can typically work for an employer for six years.
After that, he or she must leave the United States for one year before applying for a new visa. If an employer wants to hire the employee permanently, he or she can renew his or her visa until he or she can obtain a green card. The term “dual intent” refers to the fact that the H1-B immigrant is maintaining his visa to remain in the United States.
A dual intent visa permits a non-citizen to stay in the United States, even if he has no intention of returning to the United States. An H1-B visa is a type of visa that allows an H1-B holder to agree to return to the United States after the expiration of the visa.
In other words, he agrees to reside in the United States temporarily until the expiry of the visa. However, because it is a dual intent visa, he can also apply for a green card while on an H1-B visa. This means the H1-B visa holder may not intend to return home but rather to become a green card holder.
Let’s take an example of H1-B visa holders who are temporarily residing in the US. Their family members in the US may apply for an immigrant visa petition on their behalf. To know other special features of the H1-B visa, talk with an immigration attorney in Texas.
Who can be an H1-B sponsor?
The H1-B visas are work visas. This means US employers must sponsor them. You can’t just sponsor someone for the visa, either. You must prove that this potential employee will bring significant value to your company. They and the job they take on must meet certain requirements.
They must have acquired valuable knowledge through specific courses of study. If the position requires a license, they must also meet these requirements. In other words, you must show that the person you want to hire has real expertise in the industry.
Position occupied by employees with H1-B visas must require at least a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree would help to further prove the high qualifications of this candidate. Having advanced degrees from qualified institutions will also increase your chances of getting into the H 1B lottery.
The sponsorship process
To sponsor an employee, you must go through a few key steps and file the necessary forms to get the approval to sponsor someone for an H1-B visa. An immigration attorney in Texas can walk you through everything you need to know so you can prepare for your employee’s H1-B application.
Don’t forget that thorough preparation will ensure your employee gets the visa they need to fulfill their role.
1. Check if the foreign worker is eligible.
When you fill a position with an H1-B worker, you must first fill out the job description. You will want to decide if it is part-time, full-time, or something in between. Then, you must find an employee who meets the educational eligibility requirements so they can get the H1B visa.
While you are looking for eligible candidates among foreign workers, there is an easier process for some H1-B candidates and employers. They are called cap-exempt H1-B visa holders. Candidates qualify for cap-exempt status if they have previously qualified for an H1-B visa but didn’t use their full six years of eligibility.
Employers are cap-exempt when they fall into certain industries, like certain non-profits. After you have found an eligible candidate, you can start preparing to offer a job, but there are some other things you must do.
2. Tell your staff about the need.
If you haven’t found a match locally, you should inform your staff that you plan to use H1-B workers. You can create a public job posting with the title of your position. Remember that this step needs to be done at least 30 days before the next step.
3. File an LCA.
Before you can sponsor someone for an H1-B visa, you must file an LCA (Labor Condition Application) with the DOL. In your LCA, you must show that your job posting meets certain legal requirements.
- This application must show that the candidate will be working in a specific field of expertise and are qualified to do so.
- You must also show that you will provide the foreign worker with a wage that aligns with prevailing wage rates. This means you cannot hire a foreign worker and pay less than you would pay US workers.
- You must also show that your current employees will not be negatively impacted by your decision to go global.
- You can’t make such an international hire if your company is currently in any kind of labor dispute.
4. Start the H1-B petition.
Once you have completed the LCA process, you must wait until you approve your submission. This usually happens within a couple of days. Once you have been approved, you can move on to the petition stage. Petition forms come in a packet, which includes a variety of forms to complete.
These include form G-28, form I-129, and more. These forms will ask you to provide evidence that your prospective employees possess the skills your company needs. It will also require that you show that your worker and your company meet all the requirements outlined in the H1-B visa process.
The petition packet will then be sent to USCIS, who will review it. An immigration attorney in Texas can guide you through this process.
5. Pay fees.
As you file the petition, you must also pay filing fees. There is a $460 initial filing fee, plus a variety of additional fees that can add up over time depending on factors like your business size and industry (you can refer to our earlier post on the H1-B visa fees).
The whole process can take several months to complete, but you can pay for premium processing if you want to secure your visa quickly. This can speed up the process significantly if you want your employees to be ready to work as soon as possible.
6. The worker’s application.
If your petition is accepted, you, as an employer, will be notified. Then, your H1-B employee can use the completed application to apply for his visa to enter the United States. They must submit the petition and all relevant information to the US Department of State at a US consulate or embassy in their home country.
They can then travel to the United States to begin their work. After your new employee has arrived in the United States, you can continue with your normal hiring and onboarding processes.
For a more in-depth look at this process, please refer to an immigration attorney in Texas.
H1-B visa sponsorship is a complex process that can be difficult for both the visa sponsor and the foreign national. However, H1-B visa sponsorship can be an exciting experience with proper legal assistance. If you are looking for excellent legal services to help with your H1-B visa sponsorship needs, you should connect with Gehi and Associates.
We are always open to all your immigration-related needs. Are you ready to begin your visa sponsorship process? Contact us today!