Choosing the Right H-1B Visa Lawyer During the 2009 H-1B Cap Season

With more than 28 years of combined experience as immigration attorneys, our firm has represented hundreds of employers and employees in more than a thousand H-1b visas before the US Department of Labor and the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Even though our offices are located in Columbus, and Cleveland, Ohio as well as Michigan and Washington, DC, we interact with employers all over the US. From this experience, I know that employers are always searching for the right H-1b attorney, one who can truly represent their interests as well as those of their employees in a cost effective as well as efficient manner. When it comes to H-1B visa processing, it is important to understand the role of effective H-1B visa lawyer in advancing the interest of the employer and employee. Here are some pointers that are important to keep in mind in choosing the right lawyer:

Communication: A lawyer who is willing to put forth the time and effort to communicate with the employer and employees during the H-1b visa processing. Choose an H-1b visa attorney who is available and who is responsive.

Public Access File: I have seen many H-1B visa attorneys who do not do so and rely on the employer to put these important documents together. I believe this is a dangerous trend especially if the employer is H-1B dependent. If you look at the regulations, you know right away that this function must be accomplished by the lawyer. Hence, it is highly advisable to choose an H-1B lawyer who is willing to put this important document together for the employer. Failure to prepare and keep the public access file may result in costly US Department of Labor investigations and penalties.

Automation: It is highly important to make certain that the lawyer utilizes online case management software like VisaTurbo. VisaTurbo is secured software that was designed by our law firm for the dissemination and sharing of all documents coming in and out of the lawyer office from all parties concerned. Make certain that the H-1B lawyer you choose has such software as many others like VisaTurbo are available in the market.

Experience: Processing of an H-1B visa requires experience with the needs of small and large employers. The smaller employer (less than 200 employees) is unique and USCIS has recently stepped up their Request for Evidence for H-1B visas processed by smaller employers. A lawyer who is experienced in processing H-1B visas for smaller employers can avoid many pitfalls that could truly delay the processing of H-1b visas.

Staff: An H-1B lawyer who is a one man operator is likely to get buried with work and consequently the level of service may suffer. Make certain that your lawyer builds a team of other attorneys and paralegals who are available to achieve the client’s objectives.
Seminars: A lawyer who is willing to teach and spend time with employers to assure that they are well educated regarding this important process is one who truly looks out for the best interest of his client. If a lawyer has such programs in place, it is a sign that this particular H-1B lawyer is willing to walk the extra mile with his client.

These are some pointers that I believe my clients look for and ones that I make certain are implemented at Shihab & Associates, Co, LPA. Remember that H1-B lawyers provide a service and that you deserve the best service possible for the price you pay.

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