H1B visas are granted to foreign professionals in specialty occupations which typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Qualified positions include architectural occupations, positions in chemistry, physics, accounting, data communications, and more. The list of qualified positions is so vast, we can’t name them all so it’s best to consult the USCIS for a comprehensive list.
In past years, the H1B quota was quickly reached. In fact, last year the window was open for only five days and within that time period, the USCIS received approximately 236,000 petitions! After that remarkable season, many petitioners wondered if petitions submitted on the first day had an equal or greater likelihood of being selected as those on the third, fourth, or fifth. For H1B Visa Evaluation Visit UT Evaluators
As it turns out, all petitions submitted while the window is open have the same chance. However, it’s important to remember that once the quota is reached, the window closes so if you happen to be delayed in submission you will lose your opportunity.
(Here’s a sneak peak of the first filing tip in the H1B visa process)
Tip #1: Get your petition in as soon as the window opens!
As many individuals learned from last year that it’s crucial to submit your petition as soon as the window opens. Check out the H1B Visa 2018 News, Quota, Lottery Predictions Complete Guide. Here you’ll find more details related to the lottery process.
H1B Visa Process Quota/Cap Count
Do you know which category you fit in?
The 2017-2018 H1B cap is 85,000 petitions. The regular quota (first category) allows for 65,000 petitions. The second category is reserved for the Masters’ quota and sets aside an additional 20,000. In conjunction with the Free Trade Agreement, 6,800 spots are reserved for citizens of Singapore and Chile as part of the 65,000 spots in the regular quota.
Can I Qualify for an Exemption?
You may qualify for the master’s cap if you received your degree from a U.S. based institution that is public or non-profit in nature and has been recognized by a national accrediting agency as being accredited. It’s best not to assume that your particular institution is accredited.
There have even been cases in the past where accreditation was revoked due to violations or even a school shut down altogether. The University of Northern Virginia, for example, made headlines in 2013 and was closed by the government due to its operations. The H1B visa process involves many steps, including confirming your eligibility.
There are other ways to circumvent the annual cap. If you have been counted against the cap in prior years and haven’t reached the maximum 6-year limit then you may qualify for an exemption.
Another exemption is if the petition is filed by a nonprofit organization or institute of higher learning. In that case, you may not be subject to the cap. For more H1B filing tips in regards to exemptions its best to explain your situation to a qualified immigration attorney. For H1B Visa Process visit here
Challenges Faced to Get H1B Visa
In this section, we feel it’s necessary to address some challenges faced exclusively to startups and small businesses. USCIS makes it a point to determine whether the petitioning employer has the cash flow necessary and policies set up to pay their H1B employer the wages quoted in the LCA. Unlike large companies, small companies may face difficulties demonstrating these qualifications at the onset of operations.
Another issue often confronted by petitioners who are also the founders or co-founders of the business is distinguishing a clear employer/employee relationship. Since the petitioner (in this scenario) is one and the same, USCIS may require additional documentation supporting a separate Board of Directors with the ability to supervise and issue compensation.