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Business Visas, Work Visas

Information on the H-1B Visa

– Information on the H-1B Visa


Engineering Class, 1943

Engineering Class, 1943 (Photo credit: Duke Yearlook)


If you are asking,


“What is an H-1B Visa?” or “How do I complete the H-1B Petition?”


This short article on how to fill out an H-1B Visa application is for you.





What is the H-1B Visa?


According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the H-1B is a nonimmigrant temporary visa used to work in a specialty occupation, including fashion models of distinguished merit and ability, government-to-government research and development, and co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.


By nation in 2005

By nation in 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The H-1B Visa requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. According to the USCIS, businesses in the U.S. use the H-1B visa system to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations requiring expertise in specialized fields. This H-1B Visa is for scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and the like.


The USCIS’s recent posting on the 2014 H-1B Cap Seasons can be found here.


What is the H-1B Cap?


English: H1B issuance by nation for 2006 to 20...

English: H1B issuance by nation for 2006 to 2008. Source: http://immigrationroad.com/visa/h1b-worker/h1b-visa-statistics.php (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The H-1B cap is the government’s limitation on how many H-1B visas it will issue. The H-1B Visa regular cap is 65,000 visas, and the H-1B Visa’s Master’s Exemption cap amount is 20,000 visas. Those wishing to submit an H-1B visa application must keep in mind that the 2014 Cap season began on April 1, 2013.


What are exemptions to the H-1B Cap?


Not all H-1B applicants are subject to the yearly cap. In fact, some 6,800 visas are set aside every year for the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. If all of these 6,800 Chile and Singapore specials are not taken, then the extras are added in the next year. Other applicants are exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption for a person who obtained a U.S. master’s degree. However, after the first 20,000 applicants with U.S. Master’s degrees, those with a master’s degree are counted against the regular cap. The USCIS collects data from the Form I-129 to figure out whether an applicant is subject to the 65,000 H-1B cap.


How do you know if your H-1B application is subject to the Cap?


Applicants are exempt from the Cap if they will work at institutions of higher education nonprofit organizations, nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations. Applicants who will work only in Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands are exempt from the cap until Dec. 31, 2014.


The Seal of the Commonwealth of the Northern M...

The Seal of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


How do you know when to start filing your H-1B Application?


The USCIS starts accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2013. You may apply 6 months in advance. Your employer must fill out a Form I-129, the H Classification Supplement to Form I-129, and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. Don’t forget to sign in black ink, include a signed check or money order and all required documentation and evidence requested. File everything at the correct USCIS Service Center.


What other documents do you need with my H-1B Petition?


Labor Condition Application – a certified Department of Labor Form ETA 9035.


Evidence of Beneficiary’s Educational Background – evidence of education credentials or, if the degree has not yet been awarded, a copy of the applicant’s final transcript and a letter from the Registrar confirming that all of the degree requirements have been met.


Duplicate copy of H-1B Application – a duplicate copy of your H-1B petition and any subsequent response to a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny.


How much does it cost to apply for an H-1B Visa?


The base filing fee is $325;


American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act fee is $750 for employers with 1-25 full time employees, and $1,500 for 26 or more;


Fraud Prevention and Detection fee is $500 on initial application or change of employer;


Public Law 111-230 fee is $2,000 for employers with 50 or more employees;


Premium Processing fee is $1,225.


Checks should be made payable to Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, dated within the last 6-months, and must include the proper guarantee amount and signature.


English: Replaces :Image:H1b demographics pie ...

English: Replaces :Image:H1b demographics pie chart.jpg Source: 2005 Yearbook of Imigration Statistics Dept. of Homeland Security, Us Government (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


How should you organize your H-1B package?


Clearly label all H-1B cap cases, preferably in red ink, on the top margin of Form I-129, with the following codes: (i) Regular Cap (65,000), (ii) C/S Cap (Chile/Singapore), or (iii) U.S. Master’s (20,000).


Put the documents in the following order:


  • Form I-907 (if filing for Premium Processing Service);
  • Form G-28 (if represented by an attorney or accredited representative);
  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
  • Addendums/Attachments;
  • H Classification Supplement to Form I-129 and/or Free Trade Supplement (for H-1B1 Chile-Singapore petitions);
  • H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement;
  • All supporting documentation to establish eligibility;


Provide a Table of Contents for supporting documentation


  • Tab items as listed in Table of Contents;
  • Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) if the beneficiary is in the U.S.;
  • SEVIS Form I-20 if the beneficiary is a current or former F-1 student or F-2 dependent;
  • SEVIS Form DS-2019 if the beneficiary is a current or former J-1 or J-2;
  • Form I-566 if the beneficiary is a current A or G nonimmigrant;
  • DOL certified LCA, Form ETA 9035;
  • Employer/attorney/representative letter(s); and
  • Other supporting documentation.


Duplicate copy of the petition, if necessary. Clearly identify the duplicate copy of the petition as “COPY”, so that it is not mistaken for a duplicate filing.


Please contact us if you have any questions.


Best of luck!


Miami International Attorneys







About Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Miami International Attorney


2 thoughts on “Information on the H-1B Visa

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