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Advanced H-1B Visa Questions

Answers to Your H-1B Visa Questions

The H-1B visa allows employers to hire eligible nonimmigrant workers from throughout the world. To do so, both the employer and the prospective employee must meet certain requirements. Following are some common questions the attorneys of May Law Group, LLC, answer for their clients.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on an H-1B visa?

The initial grant of an H-1B visa allows a worker to stay in the United States for three years. The visa can be extended for another three-year period. In some cases involving work for the U.S. Department of Defense, the beneficiary can stay for a total of 10 years.

H-1B is a temporary visa. What if I want to become a permanent resident?

The H-1B visa is a dual-intent visa. It is issued to temporary workers as a nonimmigrant visa, but allows beneficiaries to apply for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident. Filing for permanent residency will not impact your ability to obtain an H-1B visa, as H-1B visas permit immigrant and nonimmigrant intent.

Can I extend an H-1B visa beyond six years?

You cannot extend your original visa beyond six years, but you can reapply for another H-1B visa. To do so, you must remain outside the U.S. for one year before reapplying. However, if you have a labor certification which has been pending for over one year or an approved I-140, you may obtain H1-B extensions beyond six years.

How many H-1Bs are issued each year?

The 2010 annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. If you have a U.S. master’s degree or a higher academic degree, and are among the first 20,000 petitioners in a fiscal year, you are not subject to this cap. Colleges and universities and their nonprofit affiliates are also not subject to the cap, as they are “cap exempt.”

What is the H-1B1 program?

Each year up to 6,800 H-1B visas can be deducted from the 65,000 annual limit and made available to qualified applicants from Chile and Singapore. The H-1B1 program allows for the implementation of free-trade agreements with those countries. If all 6,800 visas are not used, they will become available to H-1B visa petitioners in the following fiscal year.

What if I need a decision quickly?

For an additional fee of $1,000, you can obtain premium processing of your H-1B application. This means your application will be processed within 15 days. You can request premium processing at the time you submit the petition for your H-1B visa or at any time while the petition is pending.

To learn more, please visit the following pages:

To discuss the specifics of your advanced H-1B questions, please contact an immigration lawyer at May Law Group. We offer a free initial consultation. From offices in New York City, and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we represent clients from throughout the U.S. and around the world.

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