H-1B Employment Visa
The process of obtaining H-1B visa is comprised of 10 stages based on the general visa application guidelines. First the sponsoring company will have to file a petition on behalf of the employee. The USICS stipulates that the sponsorship letter should provide information about the position in which the employee being hire by the company, employment dates, duties corresponding to the job position and information about the immediate supervisors and co-workers of the employee being hired. The next step is to justify the prevailing wage. A special form from the State Employment Security Agency will be accomplished by the sponsoring company and the rules H1B requires that the company is required to pay the higher prevailing wage after comparing it with the average wage of individuals in the country that works on the same position. Next is the filing of the Labor Certification Application or LCA. Upon approval of the LCA the Department of Labor will return the H1B application copy to the sponsoring company. There is also a need for the sponsoring company to post notices at two conspicuous locations within the company premises at least 10 days prior to filing for collective bargaining. The next step is to assemble the petition forms and requirements and submit to USCIS service office. Filing must include the fees, I-129 form experience and education evaluation form, certificate of training, employee’s resume, letter of support and the employment agreement. The sponsoring company will then wait for a few months for the completion of the petition process. During the wait, the sponsoring company will receive a receipt from USCIS containing a nine-digit reference number pertaining to the applied petition case. This reference number is a confirmation that the application is already in the adjudicating process. Notices will be sent to the company stipulating the hold on any life changing decision that would affect the approval of the petition. Finally, the sponsoring company will receive an approval notice or collectively Form I-797 stipulating the dates of validity and petition status of approval (h1base.com, N.D.).
The H1B application requires that the employee is about to take a position related to job descriptions of a specialty occupation. It is required that the employee has applied to positions such as physician, lawyer, engineers, teachers and all jobs identified by USCIS as a specialty occupation. To be able to qualify as an employee for the specialty occupation the employee must hold a degree or higher obtained from accredited universities. If the degree was obtained from a foreign university, the degree must be an equivalent of education degree in the United States for instance. Moreover, if the employee lacks degree equivalence, he or she must have combinations of specialized training and years of experience in the field. Normally, a year equivalent of bachelor’s degree is three years of professional experience. The Department of Labor and USCIS also requires that the employee should fill out and submit an I-129 form (immihelp.com, N.D.).
Company Requirements and Commitments
Hiring a foreign employee constitutes a great deal of commitment from the sponsoring company including compliance to requirements. Generally the commitments of the employee correspond to the employer obligation to adhere to LCA attestation as stipulated in ETA Form 9035. First is the prevailing versus actual wage. The company is required to pay the foreign employee in comparison to the averaged wage paid to the local employees in the same job and position. In addition, the employer would have to check the prevailing wage paid for workers in the same position, skills and experience. The employer is also responsible for maintaining a suitable working condition. For example, the arrival of the foreign employee should not affect the work conditions of the local employees including reducing vacation periods or increase in working hours (greencardbase.com, N.D.).
Why Support H-1B Application for a Foreign Employee?
It makes sense for a business to support an H-1B application if there is an imminent scarcity of local professionals. Companies are often focusing on the development and innovation aspect of the business, which requires a great deal of professional expertise to achieve desirable outcomes. If the local pool of talents do not suffice to the level of competence those company’s development strategies, it is reasonable to look outside of the country for a more suitable candidate. It can be treated as an added investment for the company to get the best person in the industry in order to achieve maximum success. Lastly, it is reasonable to support an H1B application of an employee, if the company is planning to do expansions in the employee’s country of origin.
Greencardbase.com (n.d.). Green Card - GreenCard Jobs. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from http://www.greencardbase.com/page.asp?id=148
H1base.com (n.d.). H1B Visa - H1B Jobs. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from http://www.h1base.com/visa/work/H1B%20Visa%20Application%20Regular%20Process/ref/1166/
Immihelp.com (n.d.). H1B Visa Requirements. Retrieved June 17, 2013, from http://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1b-visa-requirements.html