The Lottery Process in Review
Applying for an H-1B visa starts when the employer decides they need a foreign worker to fill a vacancy in a highly skilled position. If they have advertised and searched for a candidate within the US and failed to find one qualified to do the job, they can submit a request to the Department of Labor through a Labor Condition Application. Once that request is approved, the employer extends a job offer to a potential employee, who then must receive an H-1B work visa.
Hundreds of thousands of nonimmigrants apply for this visa every year, but there are only 85,000 documents allotted, and 20,000 of those are reserved for advanced degree holders. So, if you want to be one of the chosen few, it’s crucial that you optimize your application with these tips.
Early in the year, USCIS announces the first day that they will accept applications, as well as the cutoff window in which to get them in. Sponsors and their legal aid will have begun completing all the pieces of the application that can be filled in early, long before the first date. You should be doing this, too.
Get your application in early, so you don’t miss the deadline. The sooner you submit, the faster you can get any errors corrected if your application is rejected.
Follow the Rules
Some sponsors think that submitting more than one application for the same beneficiary will increase their chance of lottery selection. This makes sense according to the laws of probability. But bear in mind these applications are computer-stored, and the H-1B visa rules stipulate each person may only apply once through the same sponsor. If the same employee’s application is submitted multiple times from the same employer, both will be kicked out. This also applies to employees with multiple sponsors on the same type of project. To be safe, stick with one application per beneficiary.
Verify the Fees and Pay Them
The H-1B process comes with multiple fees for most of the submissions. These fees are to be covered by the sponsor, not the employee. Should USCIS find that the employee paid any of these, with the exception of certain allowed instances for premium processing, the application will be rejected. Note that these fees change. Currently, USCIS is requesting a fee increase that, if approved, should be in place by 2024. Talk to your immigration lawyer to ensure you’re paying the correct amount to avoid time delays.
Check the Boxes for Qualified Employers and Employees
The H-1B visa requirements are rigorous for both employers and employees. As a beneficiary, you want to ensure that your employer will stand up under scrutiny, having filed all tax returns as applicable and having the funds in place to prove they can pay your wages. This protects you, keeping you from getting to the US and not having a legitimate job.
Employers must be confident that the person they’re sponsoring will stand up to the same level of scrutiny for qualified, skilled workers. This involves looking at their education, checking for experience, and possibly even delving into their background to make sure they don’t have any red flags that could get their application denied.
The H-1B visa process is expensive. It’s in your best interest to screen your candidates thoroughly in the same manner that USCIS will be doing later. If your possible beneficiary won’t pass their strict background and skills check, it’s best to know now and look for someone else.
You know the importance of preparation for your H-1B visa application, and you’re ready to get started. Before you take another step, contact Visa2US. Our legal immigration experts have helped countless employers and employees successfully navigate the H-1B visa process, and we can guide you through it, too.
With Visa2US’s legal assistance, your odds of H-1B approval increase significantly. We know the ins and outs, what to avoid, and what to make sure gets done. Our experts stay on top of the changes in legislation, and we pass that knowledge on to you, so there aren’t any surprises during the application process.
Contact us today to see how we can help you increase your chances of an H-1B visa approval success.