H1B Visa Lawyer for Professional Workers in Colorado
Obtaining an H-1B immigration visa can be one of the most advantageous visas for immigrant professionals with bachelor’s degrees, master’s, Ph.D.s or other advanced degrees: they are relatively quick to obtain, can last more than six years, and allow one to keep working on an H-1B while applying for permanent residence.
We can assist you with obtaining an H-1B visa whether you are renewing or applying for the first time and dealing with the cap. We handle everything from assisting you with wage issues, obligations, obtaining and posting the Labor Condition Application, filing the H-1B with USCIS and providing advice on how to maintain your H-1B status.
An H-1B visa essentially requires the following:
• A job offer from a U.S. employer (full-time or part-time) in Colorado or any other state in the US
• The job requires “specialized knowledge” in a relevant field. This usually refers to requiring at a minimum a U.S. bachelor’s degree but work experience can equate to a bachelor’s degree as an alternative.
• Applicant being paid a “prevailing wage” or higher. Such a wage is determined by statistical surveys for the desired occupation in the desired geographic location.
• Applicant must have the requisite skills/education for the position offered
Typical H-1B visa holders include accountants, engineers, computer systems analysts, software engineers, scientists, teachers, doctors, marketing managers, but any employment that fits within the definition of “specialized knowledge” can be eligible.
Unlike some other types of visas, an H-1B visa in Colorado has some unique employer obligations that attach once an H-1B is filed/issued:
1. Employer must pay the prevailing wage or higher
2. Employer must pay the training fee of $750 if 25 or less employees or $1,500 if more than 25 employees; and additional filing fees
3. Employer must be aware of keeping the H-1B employee in same/similar position, wages, and location unless an amendment of the H-1B is filed due to changed circumstances
In addition, Congress regulates how many H-1B visas can be granted in each fiscal year (Oct .1–Sept. 30). The cap is now 65,000 per year. An extra 20,000 visas were created for those professionals who have earned a master’s degree in the United States. Certain H-1B employees are EXEMPT from these numerical limitations.
Duration of H-1B Status
An H-1B visa is granted in three-year increments for a total of six years. If a foreign national has applied for permanent residence before his/her fifth year of H time accrues, it is possible for him/her to extend that H-1B until the residence process is complete. There are other exceptions to the 6-year rule once a green card is file and/or approved.
Families of H-1B Visa Holders
H-1B visa holders are eligible to bring a spouse and dependent children (unmarried, under 21) under H-4 visas, merely based on the principal employee’s grant of H-1B status. H-4 visa holders are here for the same allotted time the H-1B holder is. H-4 visa holders are NOT eligible to work.
If you wish to work on an H-1B visa in Denver or Boulder Colorado or elsewhere in the United States, contact Colorado H-1B immigration attorney Catherine Brown to schedule a consultation. Contact us online or call us at 303-322-2117.