Houston Business Immigration Lawyer Gasana
Claudine U. Gasana is an experienced and dedicated Houston employment and investor immigration lawyer. Business Immigration consists of temporary work visas for foreign workers; investment immigration visas, students visas and immigration law compliance for U.S. employers.
Non-Immigrant Visa Lawyer in Houston
The H-1B visa classification
allows U.S. employers (petitioners) to petition to hire foreign nationals beneficiaries) to work temporarily in specialty occupations. This term “specialty occupation” means an occupation that requires: (1) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; and, (2) attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in a specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum requirement for entry into the occupation in the United States.
USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions for 2017 fiscal year, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.
On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet a 65,000 general-category cap and a 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing. Good news is, there are other options available to employers and foreign workers beside a famous H-1B CAP!
H-1B Visas that are not counted against the CAP:
The CAP only applies to new H-1B petitions. A person is not counted against the CAP if they have already been counted against the CAP within the past six (6) years. This means that the same person can apply for H-1B with a new employer and will not be counted against the CAP.
There is also a category of H-1B petitioners who are Cap-exempt. This category includes J-1 physicians who have obtained a waiver pursuant to the State 30 program or federal program. It also includes beneficiaries of employment offers at institutions of higher education, and petitioners who are a non-profit affiliated or related to an institution of higher education.
L-1 Intracompany Transferee Visa
This type of visa allows companies with offices both in U.S. and foreign countries to transfer foreign employee to temporary work in the U.S. in executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge positions. There are no annual limits for this type of visas.
This visa category allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily enter in the U.S. work in a professional position or a Business Consultant position.
E Visas for Trade & Investment / E-1 & E-2 Visas
This category allows citizens of foreign countries that have a treaty commerce and navigation, or a bilateral investment treaty providing for non-immigrant entries with the U.S.
E-3 Visa. Specialty Occupation Immigration Visa
The E-3 visa classification is limited to Australian Professionals. The E-3 visa is a “specialty occupation” visa similar to the H-1B visa. Therefore, to be eligible for the visa, the Australian citizen must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) in the specialty and the specialty occupation must require the degree. There is a 10,500 annual limit on the E-3 visa.
O-1 Visa Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 classification is suited for individuals of extraordinary ability or achievement. O-1 beneficiaries in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics must have extraordinary ability “demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.” There is no annual limit for this classification.
STEM OPT Extension
Students who hold F-1 status and are completing their Optional Practical Training (OPT) can extend their training period for up to 17 months, if their field of study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The students must work for an employer who is registered for E-verify and must be enrolled in a major included in the STEM program list.
B-1 in lieu of H-1B
This classification allows employee of a foreign company to enter in the U.S. to work temporarily for a short time for the affiliate U.S. Company. The foreign employee must occupy a professional occupation (which requires at least the attainment of a Bachelor’s degree). Also, the foreign employee can only be paid by the foreign company and must comply with other B-1/B-2 requirements.
J-1 Trainee Visa
This classification allows exchange visitor who has a foreign degree or a professional certificate and at least one year of prior related experience to obtain training for up to 18 months with a U.S. company.
H-3 Visa. Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor
This classification allows a temporary worker invited by an organization to receive instruction and training in any field of endeavor that is not designated primarily to provide productive employment.