To continue our ongoing discussion of the H-1B Visa and the entire application process from filing to completion, today’s post addresses the specific information and documentation needed from the petitioner – the U.S. company.
Required Documentation for the H-1B Visa Application
H-1B Visa requirements stipulate that the U.S. employer, and not the foreign employee, is designated as the petitioner and therefore must file the petition on behalf of the foreign employee, known as the beneficiary.
The initial step in the process is to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor.
The filing of this form is official acknowledgement by the employer that the H-1B Visa employee will receive what’s called the “prevailing wage” for the job function they perform, and that similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected by the H-1B Visa employee’s presence.
Once the LCA has been certified, the employer will then be in a position to submit the H-1B petition to United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) office, which oversees the application process in the U.S. The petition will not only include the certified LCA, but it will also include required forms and documents.
Among these are documents that focus on the following:
- That there exists a legitimate employee-employer relationship between the employer and the foreign national beneficiary
- That the company is fully established and has the necessary cash flow to pay whatever the prevailing wage is for the proffered position
- That the position is a specialty occupation
- That the employer has adequate specialty occupation work for the employee
- That the foreign employee has the required educational and experience credentials (including educational transcripts) for the position
In addition, the U.S. employer will want to include documents that provide the following information:
- Declaration of job title, job description, minimum job requirements, and starting salary
- Name and title of company liaison who will initial and sign all verification forms
- Employer Federal Tax I.D. Number
- Year company was established, it’s primary business function and number of employees
- Annual gross and net income (latest fiscal period and future forecasts)
- US Immigration Bureau filing forms and filing fees paid
If the H-1B Visa employer ever has “cause” to terminate a foreign worker, they are liable for “reasonable” transportation expenses should the foreign worker have to return to their home country.
Additionally, in the event of termination, the foreign worker may pursue avenues with the UCSIS, including a change in non-immigrant status and/or qualifying for H-1B Visa status with another employer.
Refresher on the Basics of the H-1B Visa
For U.S. employers requiring skilled, experienced, and highly-trained employees in what are designated “specialty occupations,” one solution is to recruit foreign workers through the use of an H-1B Visa.
The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa category, and a common way for U.S. companies to sponsor foreign workers with specialized education and knowledge. H-1B Visas are issued on a temporary basis, have a duration of three years (extendable to six), and require that the sponsored employee hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in their field of endeavor.
In addition to the aforementioned qualifications, the H-1B Visa requirements feature one notable exception: A “fashion model of distinguished merit and ability” may also apply.
Examples of typical “specialty occupations” that U.S. employers commonly staff through the H-1B Visa program include:
- Technology specialists: Programmers, Systems Analysts, Developers, Architects, etc.
- Teachers and professors
- Doctors & other medical and science specialists
- Financial Analysts and Economists
- Marketing and media specialists
The H-1B Visa grants foreign employees in specialized fields the opportunity to legally work and live in the United States for up to 6 years. It also allows the spouse and the minor children (under 21) of the H-1B Visa holder to legally live in the U.S. with them under H-4 visa status.
Lightman Law Firm was recently honored as New York’s 2014 Immigration Law Firm of the Year by Acquisition International. Additionally, founding attorney, Douglas Lightman, was named a “Rising Star” by SuperLawyers.com. Lightman Law Firm also carries a 4.9 rating on Google Reviews.