Focus on the US H1B

Focus on the US H1B
In the last days, the IT system that regulates H1B applications has experienced a technical – it has been resolved, and the deadline for registering applications has been extended to yesterday Monday, March 20th 2023. Requests taken into account before the bug are not affected. Oui Immigration takes this opportunity to remind you about the H1B 2023 calendar, and tell you more about the H1B American work permit.

What is the H1B?
  • Its definition, according to the U.S. Immigration Authority (USCIS), is as follows: helping employers who cannot find local talent by allowing them to temporarily hire qualified talent internationally. Companies often turn to H1B when it is not possible to go through L1 (which requires proof of an intra-company relationship, as well as seniority within the company).
  • The H1B is a non-immigrant work permit – that is, it has a limited lifespan (unlike permanent permits like the Green Card) and allows you to work and reside in the United States. It is linked to a specific employer, for a specific position, in a specific place.
  • It is issued up to 3 years, renewable once (and therefore allows a stay of 6 years).
  • It is also one of the most popular work permits in the United States: in 2022, U.S. authorities received 308,613 H1B applications; 131,970 visas were issued.
  • India remains the largest country in terms of H1B applicants, and in the top 10 corporate sponsors of 2022 are Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Infosys,….

To be eligible for the H1B, you must:

  • Have a minimum bachelor’s degree, related to the job for which you are applying, and/or significant professional experience;
  • Have the skills related to the position in question: be specialized / expert in his field and be able to prove it;
  • To be able to justify a contractual relationship employer / employee (job offer, employment contract, ….);
  • Receive a salary related to the position and the place where it will be taken: the employer must commit to paying foreign talent the same level he would pay a U.S. citizen for the same position. This salary is determined by region by the Ministry of Labour. This is the Labour Condition Application part of the H1B procedure.
  • The employer must be able to prove that he has not found the skills sought on American soil.

You can have your married spouse and children under the age of 21 benefit from H4B – this is the H1B dependent visa, and it will be issued for the same duration. In some cases, H4b holders can obtain a work permit. 

Calendar & fees

The H1B operates by quotas and responds to a very precise schedule, based on the fiscal year. The Immigration Act of 1990 sets a limit of 65,000 international talent each year, plus 20,000 H1Bs issued to foreign citizens who have earned an advanced degree in the United States. Citizens of Chile and Singapore also benefit from 6800 visas, under the Free Trade Agreement between these countries and the United States.

The H1B process is known in advance and, for 2023, follows the following schedule:

  • Online registration to participate in the lottery: until March 20, 2023
  • Draw: from 18 to 31 March
  • If the person is selected, submission of the H1B application file by the employer until June 30
  • The visa is issued by the U.S. Consulate from October 1st and the person can work for their employer in the United States for 3 years

Here is a summary of government fees to consider for an H1B application:

And then?
  • After 3 years, it is possible to renew your H1B with the same employer;
  • If the person loses her job, a 60-day grace period allows them to look for another job. This grace period is currently under discussion for extension;
  • After 5 years, it is possible to apply for a Green Card.

The H1B requires anticipation and preparation: its popularity does not prevent the complexity of its assembly, and once the “luck” part passed having been selected in the lottery, your file will have to be put together very precisely in order to meet the criteria of the American administration, and to escape the RFE (Request for Evidence). The latter, which are requests for additional documents, are less frequent than on the L1 work permit but are still a risk to avoid – use an expert to build your H1B file.  Contact us!

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