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Understanding H-1B Work Visas in Texas

 Posted on October 13, 2023 in Immigration

Irving immigration lawyerIn Texas, one of the most common temporary work visas petitioned by employers seeking to hire foreign talent is the H-1B visa. From eligibility criteria to step-by-step application insights to key considerations for employers and workers, it is important to know what to expect. Working with a Texas lawyer can help you through the process.

What is the H-1B Visa Program?

The H-1B visa program provides a legal pathway for U.S. employers to hire professional foreign workers to fill specialty occupations that require expertise in specialized fields such as technology, engineering, accounting, architecture, and more. These visas authorize temporary employment for up to six years.

To qualify for an H-1B, beneficiaries must generally hold at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant specialty field. They must possess theoretical expertise and practical skills related to the professional occupation. Importantly, beneficiaries can only obtain H-1B status through sponsorship by a U.S. employer with an approved Labor Condition Application.

Navigating the Multi-Step H-1B Application Process

Obtaining an H-1B can be a complex process. Here are the steps you should know about:

First, the sponsoring U.S. company must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor, attesting to details like the specialty occupation, prevailing wage offerings, and intended work location and duration.

With an approved LCA certifying employment terms, the employer can submit a Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker to USCIS, along with applicable filing fees. This is the official H-1B visa petition.

Once USCIS approves the I-129 H-1B petition, the prospective worker can complete the visa application process abroad at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Initial H-1B visas are valid for up to three years, with the option to extend for another three years.

Key H-1B Considerations for Texas Employers and Workers

There are important limitations and notes about H-1Bs that Texas employers and prospective visa holders should recognize:

H-1B employment is specific to working for the sponsoring employer only. The worker cannot provide services for other companies. Additionally, the worker can only perform job duties at the location(s) approved on the LCA. Geographic transfers require an amended petition.

While in H-1B status, workers pay federal and state income taxes in Texas on their earnings. Qualifying dependents can seek work or education opportunities in the U.S.

Contact an Irving, TX Immigration Lawyer

Achieving your H-1B status can be overwhelming if you try to do it independently. An Arlington, TX immigration attorney can help you with the process from start to finish. Call John W. Lawit, LLC at 214-609-2242 to get started today.

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