What is the H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa Process

The h1b visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits US organizations to employ professional level workers in an area of expertise that requires technical or theoretical expertise in specialized fields such as medicine, science, mathematics, engineering, architecture, accounting, finance, IT, etc.

The United States employer may petition USCIS for the H-1B visa which has a normal duration of up to six years. It can be extended in certain cases if a green card petition is pending.

H-1B Cap / Quota

There is a cap of 65,000 H-1B visas issued each fiscal year. 20,000 petitions filed for persons with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are in addition to the 65,000 cap.

Workers employed at government research organizations, institute of higher education, or a nonprofit research organization may be exempt from the cap.

It is critical to plan in advance if you will be filing for H-1B visa that is subject to the fiscal H-1B cap. The USCIS fiscal year begins each Oct. 1.

H1b visa petitions may be filled up to six months before the begin date, which is April 1 for an October 1 start date date.

H-1B Visa Application – How to Apply

  1. Make sure Position is a Specialty Occupation
  2. Make sure Salary Offered is equal to or above the Prevailing Wage
  3. File and receive Certified LCA
  4. Prepare USCIS Form I-129
  5. Collect Required Supporting Documents
  6. File H-1B Petition with USCIS
  7. Receive I-797C Receipt Notice
  8. Receive I-797A Approval Notice


 H-1B Visa Requirements
 Employer / Employee relationship

In order to receive an h1b approval from USCIS the petitioner (employer) must be able to prove that they have the authority to hire, fire, and supervise the foreign national worker (beneficiary).

Specialty Occupation – Must meet one of the following criteria:

The nature of the exact duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge needed to perform the duties is generally linked with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in a field related to the offered position;

The employer requires a bachelor’s or higher degree in order to perform the work;

The degree required is a generally accepted minimum requirement for this work in the industry, or the work is so complex or need that it can only be done by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field matched to the position; or

A bachelor’s degree or higher degree or its equivalent is generally the minimum required for the particular work.

The Specialty Occupation position must be in a specialty occupation matched to the worker’s field of study.

H-1B Visa Transfer

Any H1B visa holder can now successfully transfer their visa and begin working for a new employer of their choice once their H1B transfer petition is submitted to the USCIS. This is done by their new employer or company on behalf of the visa holder. The application can be done at any time, and as the beneficiary does not have to wait for the transfer approval to be issued by USCIS before starting work with the new employer. H1B transfers are also unlimited and do not count towards the regular H1B quota. Employers can thus file at any time of the year.

The transfer bill, (bill S.2045) that was approved in both the Senate and the House has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for H1B Visa holders.  The bill has rules that allow any valid H1B holder to change jobs as soon as their new employer has filled out a new petition. There are however two main restrictions to this. The first is that the individual holding the visa is in lawful status at the point in time when the petition is being filled. The second is that the visa holder has not engaged in any form of unauthorized employment since they were last lawfully admitted.

Under the H1B portability rules stated in AC21, an H1B visa holder may transfer to a new H1B job with a different employer only if the new US employer follows the stated rules and procedures of filing an H1B visa transfer application on their behalf. If you are a qualifying worker and your petition has been filed, then you can begin working for your new employer upon receipt of the petition by USCIS. It is sometimes, however, advisable to wait for the approval from USCIS before transferring. In case your H1B visa is denied, you have to immediately stop working for the new employer.

Important points to note before filing for an H1B Transfer:

You are required to be employed in H-1B status on the date that the USCIS receives your transfer petition from the new employer.

You can only start working for the new employer after the USCIS receives the I-129 H-1B Transfer petition.

Premium processing should be considered for anyone with a gap in their employment history

A bona fide unpaid leave of absence letter or any relevant document can be submitted in the place of a paystub.

Document required for the H1B Transfer request:

From the Employer:

A detailed job description

A copy of the job offer letter signed by the employer and potential employee

Marketing material for the company or their brochure

A copy of the annual report or financial statement or business plan.

A copy of Articles of Incorporation, if available.

From the Foreign National:

Copies of your I-94’s, visas and I-797 approval notice(s)

Copy of university credentials or diplomas

University transcripts for any and all degrees

A copy of the academic evaluation of your foreign degree, if one is available

Copy of letters of experience from the previous employers

Your resume

A letter from an employer as proof of employment or 3 of your most recent paychecks or an unpaid leave of absence letter

H-1B Visa Renewal Extension

Normal circumstances allow for a foreign national to obtain an H1B visa with a 3-year validity period. You can apply for an extension on your H1B visa for up to 6 years. Employers can however only apply for a maximum of 3 years on any H1B visa petition at a time.

What are the requirements for an H1B visa extension past 6 years?

If you are an H1B visa holder that has had a PERM petition pending for over 356 days you may have the opportunity to extend your H1B visa beyond the limit of 6-years, but only in one-year increments. This can be done until the point in time when a final decision is made on the pending PERM case.

If you are an H1B visa holder that has an approved I-140 petition and your priority date is not current you are eligible for an extension of your H-1B status for up to 3 years.

The H1B Renewal Process:

1-year H1B Extension – This can occur if the PERM petition or the I-140 was filed 365 days before the 6-year expiration date.

3-year H1B Extension – occurs if the foreign national has an approved I-140 petition for the EB-1, EB-2 or EB-3 employment-based green card classifications and the immigrant visa number is unavailable.

“Recapture” Time – The foreign professional may request an H1B extension if he/she traveled outside the United States during the validity of the visa. The applicant is obligated to submit U.S. entry and return dates, I-94 copies, and related stamps.

H1B Extension Documents:

Valid U.S. passport with the original H1B visa,

The I-797 approval noticed issued by the USCIS

I-94 Arrival/Departure form with a non-expired departure date.

Your resume

Evidence of employment through a letter from the employer or 3 recent paychecks or a leave of absence letter

University transcript and relevant degree or higher qualification

Academic evaluation

Copies of most recent paychecks

The request for extension can be submitted up to 6 months before the H1B expiration date.

Timely filing of the extension legally allows the foreign national a period of 240 days beyond the due date of their H1B visa to continue working for their current employer.

H-1B Visa Premium Processing

As the name implies, premium processing offers a quicker processing time for your H1B Visa petition. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) promises that it will process the H1B visa petition within fifteen (15) days under this service. There is a $1,225 fee that must be made payable to Department of Homeland Security for this service.

How to file a request for Premium processing service?

USCIS Form 1-907 Form must be prepared and filed with USCIS.

1-907 Form may only be filed by the petitioner (Employer, Organization, Company) or the lawyer/attorney of the petitioner.

The I-907 may be filed with the initial H-1B filing, or with the I-797 filing receipt number.

Will premium processing raise the chances of making the H-1B quota?

No. USCIS has stated that quota petitions are decided by a random lottery and a premium processing petition has the same chance of being accepted as a regular petition.

Will the USCIS waive the $1,255 fee under unique circumstances?

No, the $1,255 fee is fixed and cannot be claimed for any reason. Anyway, if the USCIS is unable to finish the processing within fifteen days, the full fee will be refunded.

15-day calendar period

Premium processing starts on the day the USCIS physically receives and accepts the I-907 and ends the day that the service issues a request or notice. If the USCIS does not issue request or notice under fifteen calendar days, the visa fee will be returned, but the case will carry on to be handled as general.


Client Reviews

I've had the pleasure of conducting business with this law firm for the last 10 years. They have been nothing but the best for every aspect of immigration need I had. From F1 all the way to citizenship. They're probably the most affordable, knowledgeable, and most efficient immigration law firm out there. Plus, they always provide responses to questions in a very timely manner. Trust me, other immigration law firms will cost you an arm and a leg for the same or less of a service compared to this law firm. Give them a call, check out their website. You will not regret it.
Andy Glasgow
Andy Glasgow
17:26 27 Mar 17
Because of John and his team my wife and I were able to travel back to the states, get married and have a Green Card without any headaches. John’s efforts were amazing and it shows because my wife and I didn’t have to go to the Green card interview. We had a strong enough case to receive the Green card in the mail. If you’re seeking a Lawyer that will be impartial, he’s your guy.
19:18 23 Feb 17
Me & husband went through immigration process which thankfully was made easy with the help and services of Marc Tyler Inc. Our direct contact was John which i want to personally say Thank You ! The service provided was efficient, fast, affordable prompt answers in a timely fashion. I would recommend Marc Tyler Inc to anyone who need immigration done fast, easy, friendly & with no hidden charges.
Aleksandra Stoycheva
Aleksandra Stoycheva
15:27 26 Jan 17
I could not have asked for better service. I will definitely be coming back to get the green card process done. The fees are extremely reasonable and they stick with their clients the entire way. I had so many questions during this process, and each one of them were answered very quickly and with out most professionalism. This firm is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone.
bryan mowrey
bryan mowrey
06:41 25 Nov 16
Marc and John Dorer worked on our case to file for AOS after our L1A was approved.Marc and John are professionals and extremely reasonable-priced. The reason they are able to cut the price is because they don't spend time consulting you or guiding you and will never get on call.All communications are email only, so if you know precisely what you want they will do all the paper-work, follow the trail and get the job done. If you are confused and need advice and consulting, they may not be the right lawyers.But since we were doing our AOS, it worked out perfectly well and they did their job extremely professionally.Would recommend them every time to get the work done.
hardik parikh
hardik parikh
01:58 08 Feb 17
At first I thought I could have very well gone through the green card application process on my own and saved all lawyer fees. Its funny how some lawyers can charge in excess of 2K for this. However at Taylor and Associates the price seemed more reasonable and felt it made sense to go with one at that price. There were some doubts that arose in our mind which they cleared in a timely manner and seemed very knowledgeable in this area. Its for moments like these when having a professional around helps. While we can get busy with our lives and with laws constantly changing, I would definitely recommend them - a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Callistus Pereira
Callistus Pereira
17:51 06 Jun 17
I am US citizen. We hired Marc's firm for my wife's Green Card process, We are extremely happy with their services.They are one of the best service providers in the country. Price is very affordable. John is awesome. He responded to our queries on time with very useful information. We highly recommend this firm to anybody looking for affordable and the best immigration services. it was an awesome experience working with this team.
Narsimha M
Narsimha M
13:57 04 Aug 17
Mark and team went above all my expectations of an 'online' service agency I went in with very low expectations to match the low cost of the service and was amazed that the experience was no different than going through an expensive attorney. They were very prompt on responses, very patient and also very knowledgeable on every facet of the application (including a follow up checklist). I would highly recommend them considering the low cost they charge and the high risk we take by doing this ourselves
First Dhalsite
First Dhalsite
22:27 01 Sep 17
USVISANOW streamlined the paperwork which saved us so much time. This also reduced the stress involved in filling out the paperwork. They also are very understanding and respond very quickly to questions and emails. Jackline is now a US citizen which took less than 5 months. Thank you Mr. Taylor and your team. From Brian and Jacky.
Jackline Osero
Jackline Osero
17:32 12 Sep 17
The best law agency I have ever worked with. Very responsive, experienced. I trusted my green process to them and it was done perfectly without and issues in minimum possible period. Thank You Very much Marc, John and others!!!
Hrach Gyulzadyan
Hrach Gyulzadyan
16:38 30 Sep 17
My husband and I worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylor's office, and his services exceeded our expectations. He was very knowledgeable, responsive, and our Green Card process and interview from start to finish went smoothly. Thank you so much, John, for your dedication to our case and all your help. I would highly recommend USAVISANOW to all!
Sophia Nguyen
Sophia Nguyen
17:26 09 Oct 17
Marc and John helped me apply and get my green card. They are very specific about needed documents and other details. Also, they are very responsive when you have a question. I know I emailed them several times just to ask questions that I could have found answers online myself. They are very patient and professional. If you want to get great services with reasonable fees contact them!
Amin Bagheri
Amin Bagheri
11:54 12 Oct 17
Used the services of this office for Green Card through AOS and was mainly in contact with John Dorer. I was unsure about their services at first, considering the unusually affordable cost but was pleasantly surprised by their prompt responses to all our questions and their timely preparing and handling of our documents! Will be using their services again when filing for removal of condition! Definitely recommended!
Lisa Lorentzon
Lisa Lorentzon
22:56 10 Dec 17
my wife and i worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylors Associates. He's services were awesome and amazing. i would recommend him to anybody applying for their permanent resident to work with them.
Seun Olanrewaju
Seun Olanrewaju
15:33 22 Dec 17
I was very pleased with their professional service from the beginning to the end for my citizenship application. I am a professional working in the higher education and somewhat familiar with the immigration process. For that reason, I was thinking of applying it by myself but I found Taylor and Associates whose service fee is very affordable and worth of my time. Indeed, they found some of minor mistakes in my application, which could have delayed much longer for my application process. Luckily, they caught and fixed them immediately. Their communication was excellent. In fact, everything was very smooth. Even after I had the approval notice, they followed up with valuable advices. I strongly recommend their service if you need immigration services. Thank you Marc and John for your excellent services.
Dominic Choo
Dominic Choo
17:12 23 Dec 17
Absolute top notch firm for any and all immigration assistance. They assisted me in obtaining my permanent residency and through it all were right there to assist with trouble shooting and complications. Any and all questions were always answered within hours and you’re never left to feel anything less than a top priority as a client. The friendliness and professionalism with which they operate is A1 and I wouldn’t have been able to navigate the complications of USCIS without Marc and John. Highly recommend anyone seeking assistance to contact them!
Vanessa Nolan
Vanessa Nolan
21:05 21 Mar 18

Read More Client Reviews