All about H1B visa and latest updates

Latest updates on H1B visa 2023

Introduction

If you intend to work in the United States on an H1B visa in 2023, you must first submit an H1B registration form and then file an H1B petition with USCIS for Fiscal Year 2024. Are you seeking the most recent H-1B visa news and updates? This visa is one of the most significant avenues for foreign nationals to work in the United States. Therefore individuals considering applying for the visa should remain up to speed on the latest H-1B visa news and updates. This post will offer an overview of H1B visas and recent updates, including the registration procedure, costs, and criteria, as well as the most recent news on the H-1B visa program.

What is an H1B visa?

This visa is a unique non-immigrant visa that temporarily permits US corporations to hire foreign workers in speciality occupations. These foreign workers can be in the following sectors but is not limited to architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine, health, education, business, law, accounting, religion, and the arts. The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a speciality occupation. The applicant must also have a job offer from a US employer in a speciality occupation. The job might be full-time or part-time.

The business must also demonstrate that a suitable US worker cannot be found for the post and that the foreign worker will not replace a US worker.

This visa is valid for three years. In addition, three-year extensions are allowed, bringing the entire validity term to six years.

What Are the Requirements for the H1B visa?

Requirements for applying for H1B visa

Along with the strict standards imposed by US immigration law for border protection purposes, there are other requirements for an H1B visa. As a result, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to evaluate if you fit these requirements. Alternatively, go to the LegaMart directory and hire a lawyer to get all the information you need about an H1B visa based on your smartphone queries.

Below are the brief requirements that you have to fulfil.

• You must have a work offer from a firm in the United States. The company must give the recipient a genuine employment offer. This can be accomplished by a written contract or, if no written contract exists, through a summary of an oral agreement. Furthermore, there must be proof to prove the beneficiary’s need.

• An honest employer-employee relationship must exist. This is a necessary and obligatory requirement. Employer control is required for a proper employer-employee relationship. Management refers to the petitioner’s capacity to direct when, when, and how the beneficiary performs their tasks. If the beneficiary is neither an employee nor reports to the petitioner, USCIS will refuse the petition.

Explore more immigration options: Norway immigration. Check out all the latest requirements for the different visas available and Norway immigration laws.

Factors that USCIS will Examine

To assess if there is a legal employer-employee connection, USCIS will look at the following factors: 

  • whether the petitioner distributes tools or other instruments to the beneficiary; 
  • whether the petitioner may hire, pay, and dismiss the beneficiary;
  • whether the petitioner analyzes the beneficiary’s performance;
  • whether the petitioner offers any employee benefits to the beneficiary;
  • whether the beneficiary shows on the petitioner’s tax information.

H1B Visa Quota 

This visa is divided into two categories: one is the usual quota, and the second is the master’s quota. In addition, the number of H1B visas given each year is limited to 85,000 by the US Congress. This is known as an H1B quota cap. As of today, the yearly quota limitations are determined for each of them, and they also apply to H1B fiscal year 2024.

  • H1B Regular Quota: 65,000 visas
  • H1B Master’s Quota: 20,000 visas (only US Masters eligible)

One thing to remember is that Singapore and Chile have set aside around 6,800 visas as part of their Free Trade Agreement. These 6,800 people are known as H1B1 visa holders. So, the overall figure for the H1B quota is fewer than 85,000 yearly. However, Singapore and Chile generally consume only a few hundred H1B visa holders.

H1B Visa 2024 Filing Fee

The employer pays only $10 on the initial stage of registration. When the registration is chosen, the employer must pay the full H1B visa filing fee based on their status. Furthermore, H1B visa petition filing entails two fees: one paid to USCIS and the other born to an immigration attorney if your company does not have an in-house immigration team.

The H1B charge might range between USD 1,720 and USD 8,970, including the Immigration Attorney Fee. The table below provides a fee-based overview of the H1B visa fee.

H1B Fee – Paid Towards Amount in USD Who pays for it?
H1B Registration Fee $10 Employer
Base filing fee $460 Employer
AICWA Fee $750  or $1,500 Employer
Fraud prevention & detection fee $500 Employer
Fee-based on Public Law 114-113 (if applicable) $4,000 Employer
Premium processing fee (Optional) $2,500 Employer or Applicant
Immigration Attorney Fee Varies from $500 to $3000 Employer

USCIS-based filing costs were slated to increase by $95 to $555 beginning in October 2020, but the Court halted that. There needs to be new information, and USCIS will accept the old price schedule.

H1B Visa Processing Times

What is the processing time for H1B visa?

There is just one form of processing available throughout the registration procedure, and companies have no choice. However, after the registration procedure is complete, two filing options have varied processing durations. If chosen in the H1B lottery, you can file your H1B petition in either standard or premium processing.

  • Premium Processing: If you file in premium, you will receive your verdict in 15 calendar days for an extra $2,500.
  • Regular Processing: There is no predicted SLA if you file in conventional processing. It might take many weeks to several months. But, if you submit in premium processing, you get the outcome in 15 days.

What Are the Advantages of an H1B visa?

There are several advantages to obtaining an H1B visa. Here are a few examples:

  • You can lawfully work in the United States. The H1B visa program permits foreign individuals to work specialized jobs in the United States. This allows highly qualified persons to work and reside in the United States. Both the recipients and the US economy profit from this.
  • You can apply for permanent residence status at the same time. H1B visas are nonimmigrant visas. However, just a “temporary entrance” is required in contrast to demonstrating nonimmigrant intent. You must show that you will leave when your H1B status expires. However, you are not compelled to keep a residence overseas. This implies that you can apply for advantages that could lead to a green card while still in H1B status – without jeopardizing your visa.
  • Your dependents may accompany you to the United States. H4 status is available to your spouse and dependent children (under 21 and unmarried). This implies they can accompany you to the United States. Those with H4 status can attend school but cannot work (subject to certain exceptions). Those with H4 status must also join the primary worker in the United States. If the visa holders are in the US while the principal H1B visa holder is generally overseas, the H4 status will be cancelled.
  • H1B visas are portable. The mobility characteristics of the H1B visa are a significant advantage. If you are on an H1B visa and change employers, you can begin working for a new company immediately after filing your new petition. 

How to Get an H1B visa?

Process to get an H1B visa

Step 1 – Finding a sponsor

There are a few options for finding H1B visa sponsors. The most typical method is to search online for firms that sponsor H1B visas. Several websites also provide a list of firms that sponsor H1B visas. Finally, inquire about firms that sponsor H1B visas with friends and relatives.

Step 2 – Filing an LCA

The employer must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor before filing an H1B petition with USCIS. Once the LCA has been accepted, the employer may file the H1B petition with USCIS.

A Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor costs $35.

The cost of filing a firm’s H1B visa application varies based on size and location. A small business’s typical cost is between $2,000 and $4,000. A significant company’s ordinary expense is between $5,000 and $7,000.

Step 3 – Applying for an H1B visa

A few procedures must be taken when you want to apply for an H1B visa at a US consulate or embassy. The first step is to collect all of the necessary documents. A passport, a nonimmigrant petition, and a work offer letter from a US business are all required.

Once all the paperwork is completed, the next step is to make an appointment with the consulate or embassy. The applicant must bring all papers and answer any questions the consular official may have at the meeting.

If the application is granted, the applicant will receive a visa stamp in their passport.

Step 4 – Attending the H1B visa interview

The visa interview is critical in the application process for an H1B visa holder. This interview will determine whether or not you qualify for an H1B visa. You should do a few things to prepare for your H1B interview.

First, obtain all of the necessary papers. Second, make an appointment at the US consulate or embassy, where you will be questioned.

Finally, it would be best if you prepared for the questions posed during the visa interview.

Reasons for H1B Visa Denial

There is always a possibility of not having your H1B visa approved despite following the mentioned procedures. Some of the most common reasons for getting your visa denied are:

  • The employer does not appear to be a legitimate, established, and operating U.S. company with the capacity to hire and pay an H-1B worker.
  • The employer fails to establish that an employer-employee relationship exists.
  • The foreign worker does not have the required education or experience.
  • The offered employment does not meet the “specialized knowledge” requirement.

What is the Fiscal Year 2024 Season for H1B Visas?

The USCIS Fiscal Year governs the issuance of new H1B visas (FY). The fiscal year of USCIS differs from the calendar year in that the beginning and end dates are not from January to December. USCIS Fiscal Year 2024 begins on October 1st, 2023, and concludes on September 30th, 2024.

The USCIS accepts H1B applications for the fiscal year 2024 approximately six months before the fiscal year begins. Counting six months back from October 2023, it is now April 1st, 2023. This is why the total procedure for FY 2024, as shown in the timetable below, begins in March and petitions are accepted starting April 1st, 2023, for the FY 2024 season.

The H1B FY 2024 season (essentially the entire period from the start of the registration to working in the US on H1B) is for firms expecting to recruit H1B employees to work in the US beginning October 1st, 2024.

FY 2024 H1B Visa Lottery

USCIS completed their first selection round and notified the applicants by March 27, 2023. If the status of your application has been shifted from “Submitted” to “Selected”, then you have successfully passed the selection round. However, if the status remains “Submitted”, the following steps might be helpful for you to decide on your next course of action. 

If the status remains “Submitted”, please don’t lose hope yet. While you might not have been selected in the initial round, additional selections are held by USCIS, known as “H1B Reserve Registration”, based on the number of unfiled H-1B Petitions by the June 30 deadline.

Typically, the H1B Reserve Registrations take place in July, and the additional selections are notified by the end of August. 

Exploring Alternatives to H1B

The following are some alternatives to an H1B Visa for work authorization: 

  1. Work Visa based on nationality. Depending on the available citizenship, you might be eligible for the various work visas available. While citizens of Mexico and Canada can consider T.N. Visas for certain professional occupations, citizens of Chile and Singapore have the option of H-1B1 visas, and Australian citizens can explore E-3 visas for speciality occupations.
  2. E-1 and E-2 Visas for Traders and Investors. The E-1 visa is suitable for individuals engaged in substantial trade between the U.S. and their treaty country. The E-2 visa is available for individuals or companies making a substantial capital investment in a U.S. enterprise. 
  3. L-1 Visas for Business Expansion. This visa enables foreign entities to further expand their operations in the U.S. by sending qualified managers, executives, or other professionals to work in the new office. 
  4. O-1 Visas for extraordinary ability or achievement. This visa is available to individuals possessing extraordinary abilities in various fields of science, arts, education, business, athletics, or entertainment. 
  5. “Parole” for International Entrepreneurs. The “International Entrepreneur Rule” allows entry and work authorization for employees or part-owners of start-up companies funded by investors or grants.
  6. Employment-based Green Cards. Another option is to file an immigrant petition by a prospective employer or through self-petitioning. Employer sponsorship often requires certification from the U.S. Department of Labor.

H1B Visa 2024 Timeline

On January 27th, 2023, USCIS released the H1B Registration/Lottery Process dates. We have summarized the latest news in a simple chart, as shown below:

Step 0 Employers/ H1B sponsors create registration accounts.Date: Starting from 21st Feb 2023 (Noon EST)
Step 1 Employers start filling H1B visa registrationsDate: 1st March 2023 (Noon EST)
Step 2 End date for filling H1b registrations by employersDate: 17th March 2023 (Noon EST)
Step 3 USCIS conducts H1B registrations lottery, announces selection resultsDate: from 18th March 2023 to 31st March 2023 
Step 4 H1B cap-subject petition filling with USCIS (if selected in lottery)Date: from 1st April 2023 to 30th June 2023
Step 5 H1B petition processing by USCIS, DecisionsDate: from 1st April 2023 onwards. Please note that this procedure can take 2 to 6 months or longer for regular processing.
Step 6 H1B visa stamping US Consulates (consular processing approved applicants)Date: after 1st July 2023
Step 7 H1B visa cap-subject. FY 2024 approved applicants can start workingDates: 1st October 2023 onwards.

Conclusion

The H1B visa is one of the most common ways foreign people work in the United States in speciality vocations or as fashion models of exceptional quality and aptitude. The purpose of the H-1B provisions is to assist companies that cannot otherwise get essential business skills and abilities from the US workforce by allowing eligible foreign worker who is not otherwise permitted to work in the United States to work temporarily. You should better grasp the numerous parts of the H1B visa, such as the status, perks, criteria, and visa application procedure.

For an in-depth comprehension and practical insights into employment-based visas to the USA, I highly recommend delving into our comprehensive eBook titled “Practical Guide to Employment-Based Visas in the U.S.” This resource serves as an invaluable reference, offering a wealth of information and practical guidance for navigating the complexities of employment-based immigration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the duration of an H1B Visa?

Once the H1B Visa is approved, it is valid for three years and can be extended to six more years. There are also exceptions that can extend the visa for even longer, depending on the type of work being performed.

What happens when you quit or get fired on an H1B Visa?

A employee who was on H1B visa fired from the job

If you quit or are dismissed by the employer that sponsored your visa, you will either have to find a new employer and complete new paperwork, apply for a change of status, or be deported and have to return to your home country. There is a grace period of 60 days to find a new employer or submit your green card application for permanent residency.

In case of deportation, the employer is responsible for the costs of your return transportation unless you have voluntarily left the company. 

Can an H1B Visa Holder bring their family to the US with them?

No. The H1B Visa is one of the few exceptional cases where family members are not allowed to join the visa holder. If the visa holder wants to bring their families (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years) with them, they must complete an H4 visa application, which can be done at the same time as the H1B visa application or after the H1B visa has already left for the U.S.

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