The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa in the United States which allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations temporarily. The H-1B visa is for a specific job, and the employee cannot start working until they have the H-1B approval notice from USCIS. If you are a foreign national interested in obtaining an H-1B visa, it is vital that you understand all the steps included in the H-1B registration process. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. breaks it down for you below.
Background of the H-1B Registration Process
The H-1B registration process begins with employers first entering applicants into the US Immigration Service’s (USCIS) online system. This enables employers to indicate their interest in sponsoring a foreign worker for the H-1B visa program. Employers are required to pay the filing fees, provide information about the position and the employee, and complete other necessary paperwork. The USCIS will review the information and determine whether the applicant is eligible for an H-1B visa.
Fee Structure for Each Registration
The fee structure for registering for an H-1B visa varies depending on several factors, such as whether the employer is filing under the regular cap or advanced degree exemption. The filing fee for those applying under the regular cap is $460, while those applying under the advanced degree exemption must pay $750. In addition to these fees, employers may also have to pay a fraud prevention and detection fee of $500 per application.
How Does The Online System Work?
The USCIS implemented an online registration system in 2019 that replaced its previous paper-based system. Employers must first create an account on USCIS’s website where they can register their company’s name and other details before being able to submit applications. Once registered, employers can submit up to five applications per account with supporting documents such as evidence of wages paid or job descriptions. After all the applications are submitted, the USCIS will then conduct a lottery draw where it will select which applicants get an invitation for further processing. Those applicants who are selected will then receive an invitation letter from USCIS that provides instructions on how to complete their application process online by paying additional fees and submitting additional documents if necessary.
H-1B Visa Application Steps
Once you’ve applied for a position in the United States, your sponsor will be responsible for continuing your application process. Here are the necessary steps to obtain an H-1B visa:
Employers must register applicants in the USCIS online system and pay filing fees.
Provide information about the position, applicant, and other necessary paperwork to USCIS.
The USCIS will review the application and determine eligibility for an H-1B visa.
Obtain any required certification or licensing for the position from relevant government agencies (if applicable).
Submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the U.S. Department of Labor with details regarding wages, working conditions, benefits offered, etc.
Collect required documents such as education transcripts, resume/CV, proof of experience in the specified field, etc.
Submit the filing fee along with the form I-129 petition package to the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the designated place of work for the H-1B visa holder
After processing is completed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will approve or deny your application within 90 days.
If approved, the successful applicant can start working on receiving a valid H1B visa status after October 1st of each year
With this comprehensive guide, you now know all there is about the H-1B registration process, including background information, fees, using the online system, how it works during each fiscal year with specific dates and times, as well as the steps needed to complete the process.
Seek Legal Guidance
However, even with proper knowledge of the application process, it is vital to have an experienced attorney oversee your application process to avoid mistakes and errors. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. can guide you through the H-1B visa application process from start to finish. Get in touch with our team today at (844) 299-5003 to schedule a consultation!