Applying for a H1-B Transfer Visa in the U.S.
If you have a job offer in the U.S., then a H1-B visa may be the visa you need. This is a temporary visa that applies to employers who are petitioning for their employees to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation. At Loigica, our experienced immigration attorneys in Miami help clients apply for the H1-B transfer visa throughout the U.S., utilizing cutting edge immigration strategies to ensure an optimal outcome. Take a moment to learn more about the H1-B visa and contact us for application advice and assistance.
The H-1B visa applies to employers aiming for an employee to work int he U.S. in a specialty occupation (this could be services of exceptional merit, a fashion model of distinguished ability, cooperative research, etc.) A employee-employer relationship must be established (determined by whether or not the employer can hire, fire, pay, or supervise the employee.)
Some requirements include:
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree for the employee (or the foreign equivalent or higher of a U.S. bachelor’s degree)
- A job so complex or unique the employee must have at least a bachelor’s in a related field to the position
- A bachelor’s degree is generally required for the position
- The employee must have all local and state registrations and certifications to fully practice the occupation
What is an H1-B Visa?
An H-1B visa is a temporary visa and applies to employers petitioning for employees to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation, like services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense, cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability. In general, a valid employer-employee relationship is determined by whether the U.S. employer may hire, pay, fire, supervise or otherwise control the work of the H-1B worker.
What is the general criteria to obtain an H1-B Visa?
For an employee to qualify for a job offer in a specialty occupation, he or she must meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a bachelor’s or higher degree by an accredited college or university (if it is a foreign degree it must be equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree by an accredited college or university)
- Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes the employee to fully practice the specialty occupation.
- Have education, training or professional experience in the occupation that can be equivalent to a degree,and have recognition of expertise in that occupation.
What documents do I need for an H1-B renewal?
Documents Your Employer Must Have for H1B Renewal
Your employee must demonstrate to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department that you have the following:
- Your originally issued H1B visa.
- A valid passport.
- Most Recent I-94 Arrival/Departure form.
- An I-797 Notice of Action document issued and certified by the USCIS.
- Copies of all issued University diplomas.
- Complete transcripts of your university diploma(s) from the attended academic institutions.
- A copy of your Academic Evaluation concerning any foreign degrees, if applicable.
- A current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume.
- Proof of employment which can be proved via a letter from your employer, a leave of absence letter, or copies of your previous three pay stubs or checks.
- Your employer will also have to provide a support letter and detailed copy of your job offer (including title and salary), a description of said job, financial statements or business plans, associated marketing materials, and if applicable articles of incorporation.
Your employer should use business stationery and letterhead when drafting and submitting the letter. Your company representative should sign the letter at the bottom; it’s important that foreign workers requesting visa renewal not sign the letter along with their company representative.
One Year and Three Year Renewals
Family of an H1-B Visa holder
H1-B visa holder can be accompanied by his family (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old). They may seek admission under the H-4 nonimmigrant classification.
Dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders can file Application for Employment Authorization, as long as the visa holder has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.
How long does an H1-B Visa last?
Typically the H1B visa lasts for three years but can then be easily extended for three more years. This makes the total six years. The really nice thing about the H1B visa process that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is that it allows foreign workers utilizing the program to use their six years judiciously. This is called recaptured time.
What is the process for an H1-B renewal?
The H-1B visa is extraordinarily popular for good reason. It provides an array of advantages for foreign nationals with employment opportunities in the United States. You have to go through a series of hoops and ladders to obtain the H-1B visa so you should make a concerted effort to renew it in a timely manner. If you are looking to renew your H-1B as you find new employment, progress toward your green card or continue working/living in the United States, be sure to read this renewal guide in-depth.
H-1B One Year Extension
H-1B status is originally granted for a maximum of three years. It can then be renewed (“extended”) for an additional three years. In general, the length of time a foreign national is permitted to stay in the United States with a H-1B is six years. H-1B holders who have a Labor Certification Application that has been pending beyond a full year can extend the visa past the 6-year maximum. This takes place in one year increments.
A foreign national can apply for a H-1B visa extension beyond six years in the single year intervals noted above. However, the PERM petition or I-140 must have been filed at least 365 days prior to the 6-year expiration date. Extensions can stretch until the point in time that a final decision is made on the candidate’s pending permanent residence.
The Three-Year H-1B Visa Extension
A foreign professional can apply for an extension status upwards of three years if he has an approved I-140 petition for a green card This route allows the beneficiary to stay in the United States while waiting for priority dates to be current.
H-1B holders who travel outside of the United States for extended periods of time have the potential to recapture time spent abroad in order to obtain the H-1B visa extension. He can request the extension if he traveled outside of the country when the visa was valid. He must submit dates of exit/re-entry, copies of I-94 and related stamps.
The Request for Extension
The request for extension is similar to the initial H-B petition in that there are required filing fees, a new employer letter, the supporting documents listed above, new LCA, new H forms and H1-B approval notice on the original petition. Yet only one copy of these documents is required in the extension package. The request can be submitted no earlier than six months prior to the date on which the H1-B status will expire.
What are the H1-B requirements for specialty occupation?
H-1B visa applies to employers petitioning for employees to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation. The following are some of the requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree or higher degree (or its equivalent, including foreign degrees) is the minimum entry requirement for the position.
- The job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position.
- Employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
- Petitioning employer has some degree of control over employee
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.
Can the H1B status be extended beyond the six-year maximum?
Under certain circumstances, extensions beyond the six-year limitation are possible. Such circumstances are:
- If a PERM labor certification or I-140 was filed on behalf of the employee at least 365 days prior, H1B extensions may be obtained in one-year increments.
- If an I-140 petition was approved on behalf of the employee, H1B extensions may be obtained in three-year increments as long as the priority date is not current.
Other categories include the H1-B2 and H1-B3 (for DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker and Fashion Model, respectively.)
With this visa, you can be admitted for three years, with an extension of up to six years.
To file for the H1-B visa, a labor condition application is required, and the employer must file form ETA 9035 with the form I-129 (petition for non-immigrant worker). However, the H1-B2 visa doesn’t require a labor condition application.
The family of an H1-B visa holder can accompany the holder, seeking admission under the H-4 non-immigrant classification.
For more in-depth information about the H1-B transfer visa and for assistance in applying anywhere in the U.S., contact our Miami immigration attorney experts today!