Employers may sponsor their foreign workers for a wide variety of employment visas. An H-1B visa is available in only limited situations, so before you apply, it is important to consult with an H-1B visa lawyer in Boulder to determine if that is the right visa for your unique circumstances. Applying for the wrong type of visa can delay the process and incur unnecessary expenses. The employment immigration lawyers Joseph & Hall are here to help you find the right visa type for any employment situation.
An H-1B visa is only available to those who work in specialty occupations, as researchers for the Department of Defense, or fashion models of “distinguished merit or ability.” These categories have specific legal definitions. Not everyone who works in these fields will qualify for an H-1B visa, so it is important to consult with a Boulder immigration attorney before you file your initial application.
First, your employer must obtain certification from the Department of Labor that allows them to act as a sponsor. (DOD researchers will have different forms that are completed by the Department of Defense.) Once the DOL certification is obtained, the employer then sends a completed I-129 form to the correct USCIS service center. (There are four Centers throughout the country that accept this form. Sending it to the wrong Center will delay the immigration process.)
Once the I-129 form has been approved by USCIS, the foreign worker may then apply for an H-1B visa through the Department of State. This application is made at the U.S. embassy or consulate where the worker is currently residing. Once the visa has been granted, the applicant may then apply to Customs and Border Protection to enter the U.S. on their H-1B visa.
H1-B visas can be issued for a period of up to three years. In some cases, this may be extended for up to six years, but this is not guaranteed. Always be certain of the expiration date on your visa. If there is any uncertainty about your ability to renew it or adjust your immigration status (for example, to a green card), you should have plans to leave the country before your visa expires. Do not count on any pending applications or exceptions. If you overstay your visa, it will be much more difficult to later reenter the country lawfully.
The skilled immigration lawyers at Joseph & Hall have years of experience handling all types of employment immigration cases. Our H-1B visa lawyers in Boulder have helped many clients get the appropriate work visa that is best suited to their particular needs. Visit our website to schedule a consultation or to find the office closest to you. Call today to get the lengthy immigration process started right.
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