Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 20, 2011 – The 2012 application period for H-1B petitions is now open at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Beginning April 1, the USCIS will start accepting applications with the correct fees until the cap of 65,000 is reached. Interestingly, the first 20,000 applicants with U.S. master’s degrees or higher are waived from this H1-B cap.
“It is very important for make sure all the statutory and regulatory guidelines are met as a petition for H-1B status is prepared,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “Otherwise, delays, requests for more documents, and the potential for not getting the application in before the cap is reached can be a harsh reality.”
An American business will sponsor the foreign worker for their technical or theoretical expertise. Scientists, computer programmers, and engineers are the most sought after. Foreigners who want an H-1B visa must have a four-year degree or substantial, specialty work experience to qualify. The INS will want to see an employer’s recommendation letter along with a copy of the degree.
“Last year the cap was reached October 1,” Banerjee said. “So employers and individuals want to have their act together quickly to get the H-1B status.”
Once an individual is granted an H-1B, this status will be valid for three years, with a possible extension to six years. If the individual wishes to stay permanently, they can apply for a green card and permanent residency. Otherwise, after the initial time period they would have to stay out of the United States for an entire year.
U.S. employers must file a labor condition application (LCA) that states the job type, salary, length of employment, and locale. The wage must be the actual or prevailing pay for the position. Skilled immigration attorneys can assist with the LCA and the appropriate forms, such as the I-129, 129 supplement, and H-1B. The USCIS is almost complete with beta-testing a new adjudication tool to verify if the sponsoring company is legitimate and financially stable. The program is called VIBE, Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises, so this points to the urgency and seriousness in ensuring that the LCA and other documentation is as thorough and accurate as possible.
The Law Offices of Annie Banerjee are known for their skill at the H-1B process for employers and individuals. For more than a decade, she has counseled Fortune 500 oil, bio-tech, IT, and multinational manufacturing companies. Attorney Banerjee is also well-versed in the needs of small businesses and assisting family members of H-1B applicants too.
To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139