H-1B “Specialty Occupation” Work Visas Aplenty

_   h1b.jpgIf you are a company in Columbus, Ohio or any of the areas surrounding central Ohio, the Immigration Lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates understand that the economy may have hampered your hiring and recruitment efforts. The H-1B visa may be in decline for certain large businesses, due to the often burdensome evidentiary requirements and increasing fees; however, some smaller businesses here in Ohio should take advantage of the glut of H-1Bs still available to fill positions that may be in short supply from the U.S. labor force.

How can I use the H-1B Program?
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. IT companies have been the largest applicants for the H-1B visa. There are two basic ways to hire an H-1B worker: you can hire a foreign national directly (usually right of college), or so long as certain evidentiary requirements are met, IT companies can “assign” H-1B workers to your company to implement a project, design inventory software, or create other cutting edge software that will set your company apart in the 21st century.

For more information about the H-1B program, see the our firm’s webpage dedicated to various complex H-1B speicalty occupation issues.

These H-1B workers fill a void in the U.S. labor market for jobs in mathematics, software and engineering, and can offer an excellent temporary solution to your company’s short term needs. USCIS recently announced that approximately 19,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions (out of 65,000), and 12,200 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees (out of 20,000), were receipted as of July 1, 2011. This means that there are currently 53,800 H-1B visas still available for the government’s 2012 fiscal year (which begins on Oct. 1, 2011 and ends Sept. 30, 2012)!

Why H-1B is so great: Helps the company and employee
There are literally tons of H-1Bs available. From the employer’s point of view, the H-1B’s temporary nature allows flexibility in employment. Additionally, under the regulations, there is no requirement that a U.S. worker be sought to fill a position, nor given preference in layoffs, unless the company is considered “H-1B dependent.” The employer must file an LCA attestation prior to submitting the petition, and this procedure is not onerous. Keeping good files and maintaining strict compliance with the regulations is key to combat audits. Our staff ensures every H-1B we file complies strictly to these rules as a sort of “preventative medicine” against future problems with the Department of Labor.

Even though the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant (temporary) visa, it allows “dual intent,” which means that an H-1B holder can have intent to immigrate (i.e., apply for a green card) while still a holder of the visa. Hence, if you find that the worker suits your company and you need to keep him/her, you can file for their green card under the PERM procedures, discussed here.

There are many H-1B visas left in the current fiscal year. If your company is thinking about expanding, but not sure if a full-time permanent worker is feasible, contact our firm about your options under the H-1B visa program.

How to Contact Us
If you have questions about an immigration 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 helping you fill your workforce with H-1B visa workers.