Your employee is currently on an OPT (Optional Practical Training) as part of an internship under an F-1 student visa. The OPT will come to an end, but you value the employee and want him to continue to work with your company. One of the most common visas to apply for is the H-1B visa. But what are your first steps for the H-1B visa process?
Once your company decides that you want to move forward with the H-1B process, then you should immediately consult an attorney to make some key assessments. The attorney will help assess whether the employee actually qualifies for the H-1B visa and whether another visa may be more appropriate. Qualifying for the H-1B visa is important, because the employment must be what is called a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is employment that requires a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The employment must also entail the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. Some examples of H-1B jobs are accountants, computer programmers, teachers and marketing analysts.
Now you and your attorney are ready to begin the visa process. You must designate a competent employee, who will be responsible for performing the necessary paperwork for the H-1B visa. The attorney will file the appropriate immigration forms, making sure your petition fully addresses all the Immigration Services requirements. If successful, the H-1B visa will be granted and your employee will continue working with your company.
As you go through the process, there are a few considerations before hiring an attorney. Be sure the attorney is responsive and available to answer any questions. You also want to make sure the attorney is experienced in H-1B visas and will assist you to be in compliance with the appropriate Department of Labor regulations. It is important to not be sanctioned by the Department of Labor or found in violation by Immigration Services. Our office is experienced in H-1B visa petitions. Also, we are available to answer any questions as you journey through the process. Feel free to call our office with your H-1B questions today.