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H1B Visa: How to Apply and Associated Fees

Published: 04/06/2021

Source: luishesslaw

The H1B work visa is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa. An employer offering a job is allowed to hire a foreign national for temporary work by petitioning him for an H1B visa from the US Immigration Department. If granted, the petitioned employee will be allowed to work for the petitioner, subject to the terms of the visa.

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Eligibility Criteria

The H1B non-immigrant visa is intended for specialty occupations that require the practical and theoretical application of specialized knowledge. In most cases, the most basic requirement is a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, in the field of specialization.

Depending on the field, additional supporting documents may come in the form of licenses, certificates, specialty training, and even fame, as is the case for fashion models.

Apart from H1B visas, there are many other types of US visas including the B visa, tourist visas like the L1 visa, student visa, business visa, diversity visa, and even many types of work visas. Each type of visa is best suited for a specific case and will have its visa requirements according to US Immigration Laws.

To better understand US laws surrounding visa applications and visa statuses, it is best to contact an immigration lawyer. We at Luis Hess Law specialize in immigration law and are committed to helping you get through the hurdles that are keeping you from achieving your goals in life. Talk to one of our Shenandoah, TX immigration attorneys today!

Petition Filing Process

1. Electronic Registration
The petitioner first fills out an electronic registration form. The use of this form has been newly implemented by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in 2020 to better track the H1B quota, reduce paperwork and data exchange, as well as lower costs.

The form only requests the basic information of each prospective employee. After which, the registrant will have to pay the $10 H-1B registration fee for each application.

2. Submission of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor (DOL)
The sponsoring employer then files and receives labor certification upon filing a DOL certification at the LCA.

3. Submission of Form I-129 to the ISCIS
After receiving the DOL-certified LCA, the employer then files a Form I-129, a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. This must be typed or printed in blank ink. The employer must then submit both forms. Be sure to bring a duplicate of Form I-129 to avoid delays.

4. Application for Visa
After the employer has submitted both forms and the petition has been approved, the prospective worker outside the U.S. then applies for a visa and/or admission at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) at the U.S. Embassy or Consular officer in his home country.

He must also apply for admission into the U.S. as an H1B worker at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

H1B Petition Filing Fees

Here  is a breakdown of fees associated with filing an H1B:
 
FeeFor Employers with 25 or Less Full Time EmployeesFor Employers with 26 or More Full-Time EmployeesWho Pays for the Fee?
Registration Fee$10$10Employer
Basic Filing Fee$460$460Employer or Employee
Premium Processing Fee (Optional)$2500$2500Employer
Public Law Fee (114-113), if more than half of employees are temporary workers on non-immigrant visas$4000$4000Employer
American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) of 1998 Fee$750$1500Employer
USCIS Anti-Fraud Fee$500$500Employer
Attorney FeeVariableVariableEmployer
Total (without Public Law Fee and premium processing fee)$8220$8970


When the H1B petition has been approved, the worker is then granted an H1B status and can legally enter the U.S. and stay for 3 years. After that period, the worker may apply for a visa extension, and the visa may be extended for an additional 3 years upon H1B extension approval at any American consulate and will involve a restamping of the visa. This does not necessarily have to be in the worker’s country of citizenship.

Provisions
An alien worker may bring a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 under a dependent-category visa called the H4 US visa when his H1B petition is approved. The H4 US visa has the same expiration and validity as the H1B visa it is filed under.

As an employee in the U.S., an H1B holder is provided rights that are given to regular U.S. citizen employees including leaves such as sick leaves and maternity leaves, and the right to go on strike. He is also allowed to be employed under multiple employers given that each employer has filed a separate H1B case. A worker is also allowed to transfer his H1B between employers through an H1 visa transfer case.

Depending on the type of H1 visa, a visa holder may also be allowed departure and re-entry into the U.S. throughout the validity of the visa.

After the H1B visa expires, the worker and his family are allowed to apply for green cards to have lawful permanent resident status through an adjustment of status via Form I-485.

Source: luishesslaw

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