Immigration Attorney: Frequently Asked Questions About H-1B Visas

by Ali Golchin

If you are looking into applying for an H-1B Visa, you could use the help of an immigration lawyer to guide you along the way. An immigration lawyer is familiar with the ins and outs of visas and will be able to help you prepare for the application process and tell you what to expect along the way. They will be able to ask any questions you may have and really make the process much more user-friendly. The following are just some of the questions that an immigration lawyer will be able to answer for you about H-1B Visas.

How long will it take for the H-1B Visa petition to be approved?

There is a yearly limit on new H-1B Visas that some employers are subject to. Before you file your petition, you need to make sure that you are eligible for one and not subject to the cap. You may find that you will have to wait to file until the upcoming fiscal year.

If you find out you are eligible to file, there are several steps and many agencies that the visa petition will have to go through. You may experience a wait as short as month or one longer than six months. You can check the processing times for H-1B Visas through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Can the employer make the processing of the H-1B Visa petition go faster?

Your employer or their attorney may speed up the process, but it does require a little work. First of all, the petition has to have been in processing for more than 30 days over the processing times that are posted on the website referenced above. If this is the case, the attorney can call the customer service number that is listed on their H-1B receipt notice and request adjudication.

The employer also has the option of paying an additional filing fee and submit Form I-907 for premium processing. The employer will hear a response within 15 days.

How long does the H-1B Visa allow immigrants to stay in the United States?

You can stay in the United States as long as six years in total. Your first H-1B Visa will be approved for three years. You may be granted a three year extension once those three years are up. The limit doesn’t apply at all if you are in the United States for less than six months each year.

These are just some of the questions you may have concerning your H-1B Visa, but they are important ones to have answers for. To make the process much easier on you and to increase your chances of being approved, you should hire an immigration lawyer to help you along the way.