Since I began working at “The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates,” I have been amazed by the firm’s innovative approaches to processing H-1B visas. Innovation has streamlined the once cumbersome H-1B process. The firm can process an H-1B visa in as little as 5 business days! This is by far the fastest H-1B visa processing around. To do this every move has to be caclulated, detailed and swift, like a cheetah lurking in the wild and eventually pouncing on its prey. This article discusses how this is accomplished.
For a brief overview of the H-1B visa process, please visit our website here.
Day 1: Starting the H-1B Visa Process
After you have contacted our firm about beginning an H-1B visa, we will meet with your executive officer or human resources specialist to gather information about the foreign national (“FN”) you are sponsoring. This initial step is accomplished in one day. It allows our firm to get to know the FN’s education background and experience and learn about the job offer. Once we have determined that the foreign national qualifies for the H-1B visa, we will allow the FN to access our online visa portal to upload all his or her biographical information. Our innovative ShihabEDGE online portal allows our firm to gather all the relevant information in one step, eliminating the time it takes to send information and documentation by mail or e-mail. Once all the pertinent information is gathered, we can immediately move to the next step.
The Department of Labor: The Waiting Game
The H-B visa must be filed with a certified Labor Conditions Application (“LCA”). The LCA must be filed and certified with the Dept. of Labor (“DOL”) Employment and Training Administration’s iCERT Visa Portal System. This online filing has a mandatory wait time that our firm has no control over. LCAs take as little as 5 days and as long as 7 days to be certified with the DOL. If you have filed an H-1B visa in the last year, the DOL will already have the company’s FEIN on file. The DOL uses company’s FEIN to verify that the company exists. If the company has not filed an H-1B visa in the last year, we will request FEIN documentation up front (on Day 1 with the information gathering) and we will send that information to the DOL to update the database. Of course, this will slow down the process. But, if you have filed an H-1B within the last year, then the DOL will certify the LCA in the normal processing time.
Day 2-5: Preparing the H-1B While the LCA is Pending
Once we have submitted the LCA, we will begin preparing the H-1B visa application and Public Inspection File. The Public Inspection File is mandated by federal regulation to make sure that the employer has complied with the H-1B visa requirements. If there’s an audit, this file will prove to the government that everything has been done correctly. When hiring foreign labor, employers want to be sure that they will not be sanctioned if something is out of order. Our firm makes sure that the employer is in compliance, and we use this time period to fully examine the case for accuracy.
Whether it is an H-1B cap case, extension of status, or transfer petition, we will have all the documentation ready for the employer to sign as soon as the LCA is certified. The DOL has certified LCAs in as little as 5 business days. If this is the case, our firm will have all the documents needed for the H-1B filing on Day 5. We will then overnight the petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ensuring the fastest filing possible! The only reason that our firm is able to process H-1B visas so quickly is because we are organized in our approach. We offer the most innovative representation by the use of our secured online case management system. This allows us to seemlessly prepare an H-1B with extreme accuracy. The information is prepared by the FN and the employer meaning that it is accurate and reliable. The speed and accuracy of our filings is what separates our firm from others who are not as experienced in this process.
Day 5-9: Possible Reasons for H-1B Delay
The DOL is main reason that an H-1B visa is delayed. If the DOL does not have information about a company (i.e., it does not have the company’s FEIN on file), then we will have to certify the FEIN before the LCA. This can take an additional 2 days. The DOL may also take a full 7 days to certify the LCA. Another reason for delay is that the employer or FN is unorganized. If the employer or FN does not complete the biographic questionnaire online or provide sufficient documentation up front, delays will occur. Often times, we will have questions for the employer’s HR department that will not be answered timely. This also causes delays. But when the employer desires to have the foreign national begin immediately, the company is usually very swift in supplying the necessary information.
Post H-1B Filing Issues:
After the H-1B visa has been filed, our firm maintains contact with the company and FN to ensure that the worker can start at the earliest possible date. If the FN is in the United States, the filing of the H-1B petition can allow them to begin working at a new employer’s location. Hence, if you want to transfer a worker on H-1B, they can start as soon as a week after our firm has been contacted. This is very helpful for firms who have a project with an end client that is to begin immediately.
Also, if an FN is working with the same employer and needs an H-1B extension, we can begin the process as close as 7 days before the worker’s H-1B expires. For example, let’s say today is December 1st and the FN’s H-1B expires on December 10th. If we can have all the preliminary information completed by December 2, we can keep the FN in the U.S. by filing the H-1B extension application on December 9. Of course, the H-1B will not be approved by December 10, but the filing of a timely H-1B extension application automatically gives the FN an extra 240 days of H-1B time while the petition is pending. This is advantageous for all the parties as filing that late in the game causes serious stress and axiety for both the foreign national and the employer.
How to Contact Us
If you have questions about an H-1B visa or green card matter, and/or you need help in an immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various matters including Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, Investor Visas, PERM applications, and many more. Please contact us and experience how our law firm can assist you in your immigration matters. Whether you are an employer, an employee or a family member, The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has competent, responsive and innovative lawyers who can make your immigration experience pleasant and seamless.