June 10, 2004
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Immigration Law H1B Visa Q&A

The following are commonly asked questions and answers regarding H1B visas.
This information is provided by Info.Resource, publisher of WaBio.com,
in cooperation with Coe, Nordwall & Liebman, LLP

Q: If you are looking for a job in the Biotech or Computer industry, and you have a Baccalaureate Degree or better, you probably qualify for the H-1BU.S. visa. Who qualifies for the H-1B visa?

A: Simply put, anyone with a four year degree, or the equivalent, or 10 years experience in research or scientific positions.

Q: How long does it take to secure the H-1B visa?

A: After you have a written employment agreement, and collect necessary documents, plan on approximately 120 days before the visa is available.

Q: Do I need a job offer before I apply for the visa?

A: Yes. Without a sponsoring employer there is no basis for the petition.

Q: What additional documents will I need to file the petition for a H-1B visa?

A: The folowing additional documents will be need:

  • The full job description;
  • Written employment agreement;
  • Employer's federal tax ID number, articles of incorporation or annual report, the number of individuals the company employs;
  • our educational transcripts and resume including certifications;
  • Copies of your passport and other personal information.

Q: What are the employer's obligation?

A: The employer must promise to pay the prevailing wage as established by the U.S. Department of Labor; The employer must sign a statement that the job was offered to any qualified U.S. workers before it was offered to the foreign worker; The employer must state that the H-1B hire is not a means to end or circumvent a labor dispute;

Q: What is the filing fee for the H-1B visa?

A: $110.00 plus the INS requires a $500.00 fee to be paid by the employer.

Q: Why use a professional immigration law firm?

A: You are paying for skill and convenience. We process visa petitions daily. We keep current with the rules, procedures, and enforcement patterns. We are more than likely to get it right the first time.

Q: Does using a lawyer reduce the processing time?

A: Yes and No. The INS processes every case in order regardless of who filed the case. If INS finds the petition deficient they return the file with a request for more information. We are more likely to prepare a successful petition the first time and thereby avoid any delays in the approval.

Q: Does an H-1B convert to a green card?

A: No.

Q: How long can I stay in the U.S. with an H-1B?

A: The first visa is usually given for 3 years. It can be extended for a total of 6 years before you have to leave the country.

Q: Can I change jobs while in the U.S.?

A: No. The visa is tied to the employer. If you change jobs you must reapply under the new position.

Buy the Immigration Handbook For a complete, easy to read guide to U.S. Immigration, including staffing businesses and U.S. work visa information, Immigration Handbook. The book includes helpful information for U.S. companies that will be offering job positions to foreign workers. The book is also a guide to help non Americans study, work, invest, or retire in the United States.

To obtain the Immigration Handbook,
please contact:

Liebman-Mimbu, PLLC
3223 3rd Avenue S., Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98134-1910
Tel: 206-381-3375
Fax: 206-381-3376

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