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H-1B visas require a sponsoring company in the U.S.

H-1B visas require a sponsoring company in the U.S.

From Perrin's interview for the Masters of Immigration Law series on

The H-1B employer must:

  1. Make a job offer for a specialty occupation, defined as a position where the normal minimum requirement for the job is at least a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent in a certain field.
  2. Obtain an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor, consisting of:
    • Required wage attestation (with evidence that employer will pay the higher of a) prevailing wage for that occupation and location OR b) actual wages paid to others similarly employed at that employer)
    • Working conditions attestation
    • No strike or lockout attestation
    • Notice attestation (internal posting notice required)
  3. Take additional steps if H-1B dependent (more than 15% of the U.S. workforce holds H-1B status)
  4. Maintain LCA public access files
  5. File the H-1B petition (including approved LCA) with the USCIS. The petition includes Form I-129 and other forms, educational documents and filing fees. 

The foreign national wishing to acquire H-1B status must:

Hold at least a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the required specific field

Establish maintenance of authorized status since the last entry to the U.S. (for a change of employer, extension of status or change of status request)

At a glance: Process and timing for H-1B petition

Who Step Typical Timeframe Note
Authorizes WSM to start H-1B process.    
WSM Sends online questionnaires and list of needed docs to employer and employee. Within 1 business day  
Employee / Employer Completes questionnaires and provides documents to WSM. Within 3 days WSM may provide earlier deadline based on case specifics.
WSM Prepares LCA materials and emails to employer for posting once completed employer questionnaire received. 2 business days May vary if an internal expedite is authorized or if additional information is needed from the employer.
Employer / WSM Employer confirms LCA posting; WSM files the LCA with DOL. 1 business day Note: WSM standard protocol is to file the LCA with the DOL one business day from sending the LCA for posting unless posting is confirmed sooner.
DOL / WSM DOL processes LCA; WSM reaches out to employee for additional information and documents if necessary; WSM prepares H forms and documents. 7-10 days Note: The earliest that an approved LCA is issued is 7 days.
WSM Sends documents to employer for signature once the LCA is approved. Within 24 hours of LCA approval This typically happens same day as LCA approval but could take longer if all employee materials have not been provided.
Employer Employer reviews and sign all necessary forms, and sends back to WSM with the filing fee checks (if applicable). 1 to 3 days  
WSM WSM files the petition with the USCIS upon receipt of all signed H-1B and, if applicable, H-4 forms, as well as USCIS filing fee checks. Within 24 hours of receipt If H transfer and employee will start work upon receipt, WSM provides employer with confirmation of FedEx delivery of petition to the USCIS for completion of Form I-9.
USCIS / WSM USCIS sends WSM electronic receipt / official receipt notice; WSM notifies employer and employee of receipt issuance. Premium processing: 2 days; Regular: about 1 week  
USCIS / WSM USCIS issues decision; WSM informs employer and employee. Regular: 2-4 months
Premium processing: 15 days

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