Filing for an H-1B visa depends on finding an U.S. based employer
willing to hire you.
The Employer, after the agreement to hire, must file two sets
of forms to obtain the H-1B status. The employer must file
a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor,
promising, among other things, to pay the higher of either:
(a) what the Employer pays other workers in the same occupational
classification in the same geographic location; or (b) the
prevailing wage for the position in the geographical area
where the job is located. The U.S. Department of Labor requires
this promise from the Employer to assure that Employers will
not import cheap foreign labor at the expense of the U.S.
After the Labor Condition Application has been approved, the
Employer must file an H-1B Visa Petition with the Immigration
and Naturalization Service ("INS") on your behalf as a foreign
national. In the Northeast, this petition is filed with the
Vermont Service Center of the INS.
Typically, it takes approximately 8 weeks for the INS to reach
a decision on the petition.
The U.S. government limits the number of H-1B visas that may
be issued each year. In the last several years the United
States has run out of these visas well before the close of
the government's fiscal year, resulting in a crisis for U.S.
companies trying to fill open positions. With the passage
of the new legislation, Congress nearly doubled the number
of H-1B visas. 195,000 H-1B visas are to be made available
each year for the next three years.
By Susan J. Cohen, Esq., Manager, Immigration Law Department
at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C.
If you have questions, you can e-mail Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org