Ask Us Your Immigration Law Questions
Immigration law is incredibly complex. Whether you are seeking a work visa, trying to become a naturalized citizen or facing deportation proceedings, you no doubt have a lot of questions.
We are the attorneys of ImmigrationLegal.org, and we can help you. With more than 30 years of combined experience between us, we can address any questions and concerns that you may have about immigration. On this page, we have taken the time to respond to a few of the questions that our clients ask us most frequently.
Answers To Common General Immigration Law Questions
What is a priority worker?
Priority workers are immigrants who qualify for visas because they have desirable work skills. Examples of priority workers include outstanding professors or researchers, multinational executives and managers and people who have additional extraordinary abilities.
Do I need a labor certification?
Most aliens who wish to immigrate to the United States for work purposes must have an existing job offer. Employers must seek a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor to verify that the employee has a job offer and will not adversely affect the wages of workers in similar conditions.
Can I bring my family to the United States?
Often, permanent residents can bring over relatives, fiancés or spouses who live in a foreign country. Your loved one may qualify for a green card, depending on their relationship with you. Granted, every situation is different. We can help you determine whether your loved one qualifies and, if so, how to bring them to Michigan.
Do I qualify for asylum?
You may seek asylum in the U.S. if you face persecution in your nation of origin due to:
- Membership in a certain social group
- Political beliefs
However, the law regarding asylum is changing rapidly. You should work with an attorney if you desire to seek asylum here.
Answers To Common Questions About The H-1B Visa
At ImmigrationLegal.org in Michigan, we have over three decades of combined legal experience helping H-1B visa petitioners navigate the legal system. Here are answers to some of the most common questions and concerns regarding this type of visa.
What is an H-1B visa?
It is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to bring foreign individuals with specific skills and experience to work in the country. A candidate should hold a bachelor’s degree, certificates according to their area of specialty, and professional experience in the relevant field.
What is the difference between H-1B and L-1 visas?
The H-1B visa allows entrance to the U.S. to foreign individuals to work or cooperate with a company, business or institution based in the U.S. The L-1 visa applies to employees working in a foreign branch of a U.S. company or who are looking to open a branch in the U.S. as a foreign company.
What is the initial duration of stay on an H-1B visa?
The initial duration is three years, extendable to six years. After reaching the maximum period of stay, the foreign individual may attempt to stay in the country and obtain a different status.
What is the filing fee for an H-1B visa?
The filing process includes various types of fees. As of 2022, the basic application fee is $460, plus a $500 anti-fraud fee payable on the initial petition. A premium processing fee of $2,500 could also apply. In addition, employers with more than 50% of employees on an H-1B visa should pay a $4,000 fee. Fees could amount from $3,900 to $18,500 for initial applicants and a maximum of $31,800 for initial and extension petitions.
Who can apply for an H-1B visa?
Applicants can include foreign professionals with the skills and specialization (specialized occupation) required by an U.S. employer, individuals who will work in cooperative research and investigation with the (Department of Defense) DOD, and fashion models with an outstanding professional career.
What is the deadline for filing H-1B visas?
April 1st is the technical deadline to file for an application. A petitioner should first receive a notification by the USCIS of their selection to continue the application process.
How are H-1B visas granted?
Upon submission of an application, the USCIS will decide whether a visa is granted or not based on the foreign national and employer’s documentation, evidence and other supporting documents. The correctness of your application is vital since this is one major reason to deny or grant a visa.
Can you bring your family along on an H-1B Visa?
Yes, but only certain family members such as the beneficiary’s legal spouse and children under 21 years of age are eligible. Family members should apply to obtain the H-4 status based on the approval of the petition filed for the H-1B visa beneficiary.
What is the registration process for H-1B visas?
Since 2020, H-1B petitioners should register online upon paying a $10 fee. A representative may use an existing USCIS account to file for the petition, or the petitioner may open their account to submit their registrations. Online registration is the tool to take part in the H-1B lottery.
What is the H-1B lottery?
The term lottery refers to the random selection of applicants. The U.S. Congress regularly accepts 65,000 regular visas and 20,000 advanced applicants. In addition, there are 6,800 visas assigned to petitioners from Chile and Singapore. The submission of petitions regularly surpasses these numbers, which is why the USCIS performs a random selection process from the pool of applicants.
What are the H-1B lottery dates and timelines for the 2023 season?
March 1-25 will be the dates to file for the H-1B lottery. The USCIS will notify the selected petitioners to start the application process on April 1.
What is the H-1B lottery process?
The process starts with the closure of the online registration of petitioners once the USCIS has received sufficient petitions. Since 2020, the lottery process has been based entirely on electronic registrations. The USCIS expects to issue an electronic notification to the selected parties via an USCIS account to continue the application process.
Is there a wage level-based lottery?
No. The USCIS reversed this selection rule in December 2021. The wage level-based lottery will be invalid for the 2023 selection process.
What information is needed to register for the H-1B lottery?
The information of your sponsoring company or employer, including the company’s legal name, employer identification number (EIN) and other unique identifiers such as Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). As an applicant, you should provide personal information including your full legal name, gender, if you are eligible for a U.S. masters’ quota, date and country of birth and citizenship. You may also be required to include your passport number.
What are the different statuses for a H-1B registrant?
An USCIS account provides the following statuses:
- Submitted: Your application has been successfully submitted to the USCIS electronic registration system.
- Selected: You have been selected to apply for a H-1B cap petition. However, holding this status does not mean you will be granted an H-1B visa.
- Denied: Your petition was denied since the system registered multiple petitions on your behalf.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment: The payment method for the submission failed, was declined, or invalid. Therefore, your submission may not be eligible for consideration.
What is the H-1B cap season?
It refers to the period in which the USCIS receives the maximum amount of H-1B petitions to conduct the lottery and meet the visa cap determined by Congress. However, it is important to verify whether you qualify for the H-1B cap.
What is the H-1B cap for 2023?
The cap continues to be 65,000, with 20,000 visas for foreign individuals holding a U.S. master’s degree.
What is H-1B premium processing?
The premium service is available for visa petitioners with Forms I-129 and I-140 to expedite the petition process. If choosing this processing and upon payment of a $2,500 fee, the USCIS commits to process a petition within a 15 calendar-day timeframe.
We Are Ready To Answer Your Questions
If you want to learn more about the immigration process, including applying for the H-1B visa, contact our experienced attorneys. Call our Royal Oak office by calling 248-800-2544 or by filling out this online contact form.