H 1 b visas proving your case 2015

The government will accept new H-1B applications on April 1, 2015.  This online seminar offers critical information that employers and their sponsored employees need to apply for an H-1B visa. From the convenience of your computer or smartphone, watch this informative tutorial to help you gather and present the proof necessary for the best chance of approval.   Whether you are  a sponsoring employer or sponsored employee, now is the time to learn the tips and tools to navigate the H-1B process smoothly
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  • 1. Proving and Winning Your H-1B Case in 2015 & THOMPSON JANUARY 29, 2015
  • 2. • Ask Questions Anytime? • Use your Q&A pane at the bottom of your screen to type and send your questions. ? • Questions will be answered during the presentation and during the Q & A session. ?
  • 3. Agenda H-1B Visa Overview Proving Your H-1B Case F-1 Student Cap-Gap Rules Other Visa Options Post-Approval Alerts
  • 4. H-1B Visa Overview
  • 5. H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas A nonimmigrant (temporary) visa that allows a non-citizen to be employed in the United States for up to 6 years in a “specialty occupation” for a specific employer (“petitioner”).
  • 6. What is a Specialty Occupation? An occupation that requires highly skilled specialized knowledge and A bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation
  • 7. Employee Qualifications Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree (or its foreign equivalent) or Have education, training, or experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree (3:1 rule) and Possess full state licensure if required to practice in the state of employment
  • 8. H-1B Numerical Limitations - “H-1B Cap” Quota of 65,000 new H-1B visas per fiscal year (except 6800 Free Trade Act (FTA) nationals) 20,000 per fiscal year for persons who hold US Master’s degrees or higher Applies to first-time H-1B or previously cap- exempt H-1B employees
  • 9. February Prepare petition April 1 Apply for H-1B April 7 Lottery cutoff May 1 Acceptance or Rejection Notices July Decision Notices 2016 FY H-1B Cap Timeline
  • 10. H-1B Cap Exempt Categories Employers Universities/Colleges Non-profit affiliates of universities/colleges Government or non-profit research facilities Employment For profit employment at universities or their non-profit affiliated facilities Physicians Physicians who received government-sponsored J-1 waivers of two year home residency requirement
  • 11. Proving Your H-1B Case
  • 12. 1 Specialty Occupation 2 Employee Qualifications 3 Employer-Employee Relationship 4 Valid Job Offer and Company 5 H-1B Cap-Exemption
  • 13. Detailed Job Description Daily duties and percentages of time spent on duties Similar positions in the industry or in your business Proof of Specialty Occupation
  • 14. Organizational chart with job descriptions of other positions Expert opinions and reports Professional associations Proof of Specialty Occupation (cont.)
  • 15. Proof of Employee Qualifications Diplomas and Degrees Employment Experience Letters Credential Evaluation or Expert Opinion Professional License, if applicable
  • 16. Employer- Employee Relationship Employment Contract/Offer Letter Employee Manual/Benefits Summary Performance Review Client Contracts/Work Orders Pay Records/W-2/Work Schedule
  • 17. Proving Valid Job Offer and Position Federal Tax Returns Unemployment Tax Reports Organizational Charts Payroll Records Company History
  • 18. H-1B for the Self-Employed or Business Owners Employer-Employee Relationship Company Structure – Corporation/LLC Board of Directors - hire, fire, or otherwise control owner Specialty occupation required
  • 19. Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) Program VIBE allows USCIS to electronically receive petitioning company information from D&B Business activities Financial standing, e.g. credit rating Number of employees, both on-site and globally. Relationships with other entities Type of office, e.g. single office Type of legal entity. Company executives. Date of establishment Current physical address.
  • 20. Proving H-1B Cap-Exemption Higher Ed Public or Non-profit Associate degree or higher Proof of Accreditation Non-Profit & Affiliated w/Higher Ed 501(c)(3) exemption letter Agreement with Higher Ed, e.g. Clinical Training Supporting letter from Higher Ed Third-Party Employment Agreement with Higher Ed or Non-Profit Affiliate Org Supporting Letter from Exempt Facility Educational or non-profit purpose
  • 21. Proving H-1B Cap-Exemption (cont.) As of March 2011, USCIS will honor previous determinations of cap exemption if employer provides: A copy of the previously approved cap-exempt petition (relevant pages of the Form I-129 and pertinent supplements); A copy of the Form I-797 approval notice (issued after June 6, 2006) for the affiliation-based cap exempt petition; or Documentation previously submitted with a petition in support of the claimed cap exemption.
  • 22. F-1 Student Cap-Gap Rules
  • 23. Cap-Gap Rules for F-1 Students Prevents gap between F-1 expiration and H-1B start date, in most cases. If student has active OPT, can work until September 30, 2015 and remain in U.S. until H-1B decision is made. If H-1B approved, student can continue or resume work using H-1B visa. If H-1B denied, 60 day grace period begins on date of denial. If student has expired OPT and H-1B is filed before expiration of 60 day grace period, student can remain in U.S. until H-1B decision. No work authorization during this period. If H-1B is approved, student can begin work. If H-1B denied, student must leave the U.S.
  • 24. Other Visa Options
  • 25. TN – Trade NAFTA for Canadian and Mexican professionals E-3 – Australian professionals E-2 – Treaty investor essential personnel and managers H-1B1- Professional from Chile and Singapore J-1 – Exchange visitors for training L-1- Transferees from foreign affiliate companies O-1 – Extraordinary Ability professionals at the “top of the field” F-1 OPT STEM extension – 17 month extension Green card options - PERM labor certification, EB-1 extraordinary ability, national interest waiver, and others
  • 26. Post-Approval Alerts
  • 27. International Travel Visa Processing at U.S. Embassy ( Administrative Processing Delays Petition Returns
  • 28. USCIS Audits Random Selection Unannounced Employer Site Visit Email Demands for Documents
  • 29. Preparing for a USCIS Site Visit Step 1 Review the H- 1B petition Step 2 Prepare compliance evidence file for inspector Step 3 Identify company representatives who will meet with auditors Step 4 Establish site visit procedures for reception, clients, and H- 1B employee Employers Take these steps immediately after the approval of your H-1B petition to prepare for a surprise site visit from the USCIS.
  • 30. Potential Consequences of Negative Findings Denial of Pending Petition Notice of Intent to Revoke Previously Approved Petition Revocation of Previously Approved Petition Criminal Penalties Civil Fines
  • 31. Legal Notice The information provided in this presentation is general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific situations. Because each case is different, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for your specific situation.
  • 32. Prepare Now Consult with an immigration attorney. Gather necessary documents and information. Prepare and conduct final review of H-1B petition. File H-1B petition on April 1.
  • 33. Questions? Comments? Cowles & Thompson 901 Main Street, Suite 3900 Dallas, Texas 75202 214-672-2000 Telephone 214-672-2020 Facsimile
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