FY 2018 H-1B CAP- The H-1B CAP FILING DEADLINE for 2018 is approaching fast!
Kidambi & Associates has started processing H-1B CAP petitions for this year and we encourage you to contact us early to initiate processing. If not familiar with our CAP intake process, kindly contact us for process steps and checklists.
Our webinar on H-1B – Lessons From FY2017 - How to Prepare for FY2018 H-1B Season on March 1, 2017 12:00 PM EST was a huge success! The attendees found it very informative.
- Grassley and Durbin Bill
- Zoe Lofgren Bill
- Darrell Issa Bill
- Matter of K-Inc.
- Simeio Solutions Final Guidance Memo
- Neufeld Memo
- Blog Article on HR 670
Important Notes for this year:
1. Candidate Backgrounds and documentation:
- Ensure degrees are related (in the relevant field) and have submitted copies of all degrees and transcripts;
- where the degree is an unrelated field, the candidate must possess at least three years of experience in the field to qualify for the position
- Letters of experience must be detailed and provide progressive experience and skills used. Additional care must be taken to provide exact dates of prior employment
- An evaluation of education and experience will be required to complete the process and takes additional time
2. Master’s CAP
- Candidates eligible for the Master’s CAP must already have the degree certificate, or obtain a letter from the registrar confirming that all of the degree requirements have been met. If the educational institution does not have a registrar, then such a letter must be signed by the person in charge of educational records where the degree will be awarded.
- Please have the candidate obtain all copies of prior I-20s and proper endorsement if the candidate is currently employed on a CPT
- Additionally, provide proof that the candidate’s school is authorized to grant CPT and it is an integral part of the curriculum
3. Consulting Companies
- Must document ability to control the work assignment of the H-1B employee
- Documentation of employer-employee relationship must be submitted (contracts through the chain to the end-client)
- Additionally, check and ensure the employer’s VIBE profile is updated and reflects accurately the current profile of the Company
- Checks should preferably be printed and contain accurate information.
- Make all checks payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Checks should be recently dated for April 1st filing
5. Recently Incorporated Entities
- Please immediately schedule an appointment to go over requirements
- Establish a D&B number and VIBE profile
- Establish an online presence
- Obtain a professional business plan and be prepared to establish qualifying H-1B work
6. New Fee Schedule
- * As of 12/23/2016, USCIS increased its fee structure. H-1B Fees have gone up from $325.00 to $460.00; H-4 Fees from $290.00 to $370.00
- * A new law (Public Law 114-113) increases the fee payable by entities that employ 50 or more employees in the United States, with more than 50 percent of those employees in H-1B or L (including L-1A and L-1B) nonimmigrant status. Please calculate and let us know you fall under this category. These petitioners must submit an additional fee of $4,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $4,500 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions postmarked on or after December 18, 2015.
We look forward to working with you again!
The Kidambi approach to processing H-1B Visas
Our Firm takes H-1B processing with the seriousness of purpose that it deserves. We understand that proper filing and acceptance is immediately relevant to success or failure for the business and the individual. Therefore, we take every precaution to review and file a complete petition that would be “approvable as filed”. The job of reducing the chance of receiving an RFE is undertaken with zealous care and has, over the years, paid rich dividends. Clients are treated with patience and care. We never let the pressure of the process get in the way of making sure your petitions are processed meticulously and in an individualized manner. Give us a chance of providing you with the Kidambi way of processing H-1B petitions.
Our Blog article on Ensuring Your H-1B Cap Subject Petition is Properly Filed.
What is the purpose of an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B Visa offers a prompt, lawful way for U.S. employers to hire foreign professionals on a temporary basis. This visa allows U.S. businesses to recruit and hire the best-qualified candidates from around the world. It allows U.S. employers to compete on a level playing field with foreign companies in such key industries as information technology, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and education.
H-1B visas are for foreign professionals, hired by U.S. employers to work in "specialty occupations."
What is a Specialty Occupation?
A specialty occupation is an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. For example, architects, engineers, mathematicians, physical therapists, doctors, teachers, and lawyers are all specialty occupations.
What does an Employer need to file an H-1B Petition?
The employer must have a U.S. taxpayer identification number. Foreign businesses not established in the U.S. cannot use this visa to bring employees here. A U.S. employer using this program must guarantee that:
- the foreign professional will be paid at or above the rate paid for a similar position at the employer's own offices, or at those of their local competitors;
- the foreign professional will not adversely affect the working conditions of U.S. colleagues;
- U.S. colleagues will be given notice of the professional's presence among them; and
- there is no strike or lockout at the worksite.
The employer must also demonstrate that the position requires a professional in a specialty occupation and that the intended employee has the required qualifications. Under a 1998 law, employers who use a higher percentage of H-1B workers must meet additional requirements, including documenting their recruitment in the United States, and are forbidden from laying off American workers to hire an H-1B professional. These additional requirements are part of a complex set of rules and regulations collectively promulgated as a result of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act [ACWIA]. Violation of these rules could result in severe penalties that may include debarment from participating in the H-1B program. H-1B employers are required to pay an additional fee per visa to fund education and training programs for U.S. workers. The fee is currently $1,500.00 ($750.00 for employers with no more than 25 full-time employees working in the U.S.).
Additionally, a $500.00 fraud prevention fee has been added in 2005. This fee must be paid by employers seeking to initially bring a foreign worker to the U.S., or when transferring them from a different employer in the U.S.
What is the current H-1B Cap?
The current Cap is set at 65,000 (reduced by 6800 visas for Chile and Singapore Citizens). An additional 20,000 visas has been set-aside for individuals with a Master’s, or higher degree earned from a U.S. institution.
What are the Employer’s liabilities?
Employers are responsible for several things under the H-1B program [not to be confused with the employer’s obligations under the Immigration Reform and Control Act – IRCA]. For instance, an H-1B employer is liable for return transportation if the foreign worker is dismissed before the expiration of the authorized period of stay. Some of the employer’s obligations are listed below:
- The Employer is required to maintain documentation to meet its burden of proof with respect to the validity of the statements made in its LCA and the accuracy of information provided, in the event that such statement or information is challenged. The employer shall also maintain such documentation at its principal place of business in the U.S. and shall make such documentation available to Department of Labor for inspection and copying upon request.
- The employer must also inform U.S. workers of the intent to hire a foreign worker by posting the completed LCA, Form ETA 9035E, for the position. The posting must occur within the 30-day period preceding the date that the labor condition applications is submitted to the DOL. Posting may occur in one of two methods: hard copy or electronic notice. The hard copy notice must be given to the bargaining representative for workers in the occupation or, if there is no bargaining representative, be posted for 10 consecutive days in at least two conspicuous locations at each place of employment where any H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 nonimmigrant will be employed. Distribution can be by whatever means the employer normally communicates with its employees (i.e., e-mail, bulletin board, and home web page). A copy of the LCA must also be provided to each nonimmigrant.
- The employer shall make the LCA and necessary supporting documentation available for public examination at the employer's principal place of business in the U.S. or the place of employment within one working day after the date on which the LCA is filed with DOL.
The employer shall not allow the nonimmigrant worker to begin work until USCIS grants the worker authorization to work in the U.S. for that employee or, in the case of a nonimmigrant who is already in H-1B status and is changing employment, to another employer until the new employer files a petition supported by a certified LCA.
What is the duration of the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B Visa is granted for three years at a time up to a maximum of six years. After the initial period of three years, the Employer is required to file a petition seeking an extension of the initial period for three additional years. Under two circumstances, the individual is allowed to stay beyond the six-year period:
- A beneficiary of an employment-based first, second or third preference immigrant petition who is eligible for permanent residence but for the application of the per-country limits may obtain extension of the H-1B status until the adjustment of status is decided.
H-1B status can be renewed in one-year increments for beneficiaries of any employment-based petition until adjustment processing is completed as long as 365 days or more have elapsed since the labor certification application, or immigrant petition [Form I-140] was filed.
When can the H-1B Worker begin work?
A new H1-B applicant must await approval of his/her nonimmigrant petition before beginning work. However, if the beneficiary is already an H1-B worker and is merely seeking to change employers, he/she may begin the new employment upon filing of the petition and need not wait for the petition to be approved. The petition must always be non-frivolous and the beneficiary must be a nonimmigrant admitted to the U.S. in H-1B status, must not have been employed without authorization before the petition was filed, and must be in valid status when the petition is filed.
Can part time work be considered for H-1B Visa?
An individual may be employed either part-time, or full-time in H-1B status. More importantly, one can work with two employers concurrently in H-1B status.