H - Temporary Workers
The H visa is broken down into the following categories:
H-1B classification applies to persons in a specialty occupation which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge requiring completion of a specific course of higher education. This classification requires a labor attestation issued by the Secretary of Labor. This classification also applies to Government-to-Government research and development, or coproduction projects administered by the Department of Defense;
H-2A classification applies to temporary or seasonal agricultural workers;
H-2B classification applies to temporary or seasonal nonagricultural workers. This classification requires a temporary labor certification issued by the Secretary of Labor;
H-3 classification applies to trainees other than medical or academic. This classification also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children
The H-1 Visa Cap
H-1B work visas are in high demand because only 68,000 are issued each fiscal year (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30). In addition, each year 6,800 skilled foreign workers from Chile and Singapore are issued an H-1B1 visa.
H-1B visas are valid for a three-year period and can be extended for one additional three-year period. After a worker has resided in the U.S. for six continuous years, he or she must leave and remain outside the U.S. for at least one year before another H-1B visa can be issued.
Acting as sponsors for the foreign workers, employers file petitions to obtain H-1 and H-1B visas. Before filing the petition with the USCIS, however, an employer must obtain a work permit by submitting a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Employers must attest that they are not displacing American workers by hiring a skilled foreign worker, that they are complying with prevailing wage levels, that they will not replace a laid-off worker with an H-1B for a certain period of time, and will not employ the H-1B during a strike or lockout, among other attestations.
Once the LCA is approved, the employer submits it along with a completed petition for an H-1 or H-1B visa.
The immigration attorneys of NPZ Law Group are skilled at helping businesses of all types and sizes meet their workforce needs by hiring skilled foreign workers. We have filed hundreds of H-1B petitions for our clients, from international students to small companies to large, publicly traded corporations. To discuss your H-1B visa needs with an experienced immigration lawyer, please contact our law firm today.
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