H1B VISAS 2015

Our firm is now working on H1B cases for filing on April 1, 2015.  Please contact our office early, so we can be sure to have all the information, and completed the required labor condition application filing.  Call us today at (703) 828-5529.

Basic Requirements:

1.       A valid employer-employee relationship must exist

2.       Job offered must qualify as a specialty occupation as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement;
  • The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

3.      The job must be in a specialty occupation related to your field of study

4.      The wage paid must be at least the prevailing wage or the actual wage for the position, whichever is higher

5.      An H-1B visa number must be available, either for a new filing or a prior H1B visa may be used in some circumstances.

April 1, 2015 H1B Visa Season

USCIS will begin accepting H1B petitions on April 1, 2015 and will accept petitions for October 1, 2015 employed start dates until the visa caps are reached.  If more petitions are filed than the number of visas that are available in the first five days of filing, USCIS will conduct a lottery.  We fully expect a lottery will be required in 2015 to determine which petitions will be chosen for processing, as it is expected that there will be more petitions filed than visas available.

Regular Cap

65,000 visas are available each year under the regular (general) H1B visa limit.  If more than 65,000 petitions are filed in this category in the first five days of filing, USCIS will conduct a lottery to determine which petitions are selected for processing. If not selected in the lottery, USCIS will send the petition and all fees back to the petitioning employer, and the case will not be processed.

Master’s Exemption Cap

20,000 visas are available each year under the H1B master’s exemption for those employees who obtained a master’s degree in the U.S. at a qualifying university (non-profit, U.S. university).  If more than 20,000 H1B petitions are filed in this category, USCIS will conduct a lottery of this category first, and if the employee is not chosen in the lottery under the master’s exemption cap, then they will be automatically be placed in the lottery for the Regular Cap for a second chance for an H1B visa.

Cap Exempt

H1B Cap Exempt cases may include:

  • Concurrent H1B employment for current H-1B visa holders
  • Previously selected for H1B and already counted against cap which was not used in the past 6 years
  • Extensions of H1B status
  • Change of Employer for current H1B holder
  • Previous H1B who has been out of U.S. for one year, or if the work was seasonal, intermittent, or less than 6 months per year
  • J-1 Physicians with waiver
  • Employment candidates for offers at institutes of higher education or related non-profit entities or non-profit research organizations or governmental research organizations
  • Master’s Exemption Cap candidates (if selected in any required lottery, as described above in the Master’s Exemption Cap section)
  • Spouses and Children of H1Bs (H4 status)

USCIS Fees

USCIS Filing Fees:
I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker (H1B) $325
Fraud Prevention Fee $500
ACWIA Education and Training Fee $750 or $1500
Public Law 111-320 as amended (If Petitioner employees more than 50 individuals in the U.S., more than 50% are H-1B, L-1A or L-1B status, and the petition is filed before October 1, 2015 $2,000
Premium Processing (Optional) for 15 day processing $1,225