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The H-1B Visa Application Process

In general terms, an H-1B visa applies to individuals who are considered specialists in their field of expertise. Only 65,000 of these visas are allowed by the U.S. each year; therefore, if a Massachusetts company would like a foreign specialist to work on a specific project in the U.S., the best plan of action is to hire immigration attorneys familiar with the H-1B Visa application process.

H-1B Visa Requirements & Application Process
In order to apply, the candidate must have attained a college degree within the U.S. or the foreign academic equivalent. The degree must be specific to the job that the foreign specialist will be hired for by the U.S. based firm.

In addition, the foreign specialist must not have had an unlawful presence within the U.S. at any time. If the candidate meets all these requirements the firm’s attorney will then file a Labor Condition Application and a Form I-129. If the H-1B application is approved, it must then be sent to a U.S. consulate based in the foreign specialist’s country of origin for visa processing.

To move the process along quicker, a Form I-907 can also be filed along with or upon approval of the Form I-129. This form is referred to as a Request for Premium Processing. Though processing times are unique to each H-1B applicant, the progress of the application can be monitored online.

The duration of the visa depends on the applicant and the estimated length of time needed for the applicant to complete their work with the U.S. firm. This time allotment should not exceed 3 years. If the project runs longer, a new H-1B visa can be applied for to extend the stay of the foreign specialist for an additional 3 years.

As the filing process for the H-1B can be complicated, it is highly recommended the hiring firm contact a Massachusetts immigration attorney with a strong focus on H-1B visas. Please contact us to discuss your company’s requirements for H-1B visas.

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