EMPLOYMENT VISAS H-1B, H-2A, H-2B

Are you a University-educated foreign professional who works in their field of education, and who has a job offer in the United States? Or, are you an employer who is seeking to hire a foreign national to work in the United States for a temporary time period? Please continue reading to learn all about: (1) the H-1B Visa available to educated foreign professionals who have U.S. job offers; and, (2) the H-2A and H-2B Visas that are available to U.S. employers to hire temporary foreign agricultural and other seasonal workers (such as in the tourism industry).

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The H-1B Visa 

Do you have a job offer in the United States for a job that requires a University-level degree in your field? If so, you are going to need some sort of lawful status that permits you to work in the United States. Often the easiest way to get this done is for your employer to apply for a Nonimmigrant Employment Visa on your behalf. Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa tends to be a much faster and cheaper option than first applying for an Immigrant Visa (Green Card eligible visa); and with the H-1B, you will be able to pursue that Green Card later on, if you and your employer choose to do so. Although an H-1B Visa is a temporary Nonimmigrant Visa, it will allow you to live and work in the United States for an initial period of up to 3 years! This three year period can generally be extended once, but not normally for more than 6 years total time (though there are some limited exceptions). That is generally plenty of time for your employer to petition for a Green Card-eligible visa on your behalf however, and the best part is that you will be able to keep living and working on your H-1B Nonimmigrant Status while your permanent immigrant visa is pending. Additionally, if you are granted H-1B status, your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21, are eligible to stay legally in the United States as H-4s. While H-4 status holders cannot generally work (with some exceptions for some spouses of H-1B holders), they can study while they are in the United States.

So what do you need in order to be eligible for an H-1B? Well, H-1Bs are generally for foreign professionals who are in speciality occupations. Thus, you will need a University-level (Bachelor’s Degree equivalent) in the field of the job offer, in order to be eligible. Technically speaking, H-1B-eligible occupations are occupations and professions that require “highly specialized knowledge;” the type of knowledge normally associated with a University-level degree or higher.

Unfortunately, there is an annual limit to the number of foreign nationals that can receive these visas every fiscal year. The annual limit is 65,000 individuals for every upcoming fiscal year (the fiscal year runs from October 1st till September 30th of the following calendar year), and the application window for applying starts running on April 1st of every year. This means that if you have a job offer, then you and your employer should generally start working with your immigration attorney to get your H-1B application together, well before April 1st of the upcoming fiscal year that you want to begin working in. The H-1B cap is always realized within just a few days of April 1st. In April 2018, the 65,000 spots were gone on April 6th, for example. Thus, it is imperative that you and your employer are organized and proactive about applying.

There are a couple of exceptions to this annual limit. For one, there is no limit to the number of H-1B visas that USCIS can grant to foreign nationals who are going to be employed by institutions of higher education (such as U.S. universities), and their affiliated nonprofit entities and research organizations. Also, when a government research organization is the sponsoring employer, you will not be subject to this numerical cap. Another group of individuals that receives special treatment are the first 20,000 foreign nationals with U.S. Master’s Degrees or higher that apply each year. The first 20,000 U.S. Master’s Degree holders (or higher) that apply are exempt from the cap. Thus, if you are a foreign national with a U.S. Master’s Degree, you have an especially good chance of getting an H-1B visa for any given upcoming fiscal year.

How do you apply for an H-1B? Well just to be clear: your future employer is the one who has to apply for an H-1B Visa on your behalf. You will of course have to help them by providing them with the necessary information that they will need to file the application on your behalf, but they are the ones that have to apply. Your employer will start the process by obtaining a certified Labor Condition Application from the United States Department of Labor. This certified LCA will basically attest to the fact that your employer has agreed to pay the required wage for your job type, and that you as the Nonimmigrant worker will have working conditions that do not adversely affect similarly situated U.S. workers, and that your employer has provided notice to their U.S. workers. Once your employer has obtained a certified LCA, they will then submit a completed form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, on your behalf to USCIS. Once USCIS receives this, if you are fortunate enough to get your H-1B petition approved, then if you are in the United States you will then have this immigration status. If you are outside of the United States, you will generally have to apply to the U.S. Department of State for a visa at the nearest embassy or consulate (some nationalities may have this requirement waived), but regardless you will have to enter the United States formally before Customs and Border Protection. Assuming you have no problems being admitted, you will then be in the United States with a valid H-1B classification.

Ready to apply for your H-1B? Get in touch with us at Zontlaw, today!

H-2A and H-2B Visas 

The H-2A Visa and the H-2B Visa are for employers to temporarily bring foreign workers to the United States to do seasonal work for them. The H-2A is for temporary agricultural workers and the H-2B is for other types of seasonal work (such as seasonal resort workers, for example). To qualify a prospective employee for either of these visas, the U.S. employer will generally (some limited exceptions exist), need to first apply for a Temporary Labor Certification from the U.S. Department of Labor for the foreign worker(s). To do this they will have to show that the job being offered is temporary or seasonal in nature, that there aren’t enough U.S. workers available or willing to fill the offered positions, and that employing H-2A/H-2B workers will not adversely affect similar U.S. workers.

Once the employer receives an approved Temporary Labor Certification they will then need to submit a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, to USCIS. Then once this petition is approved, any workers outside of the United States will need to apply for a visa before the U.S. Department of State at the embassy/consulate, and/or apply for admission at the U.S. border under this classification. Once admitted as an H-2A or H-2B, the status holder will be allowed to stay and work in the United States for as much time as authorized on the Temporary Labor Certification. H-2A/B status holders can generally seek extensions in one year increments (with the submission of another Temporary Labor Certificate with each extension request), for up to a total of three years. After someone has been in H-2A/B for three years they will have to depart the United States and spend an uninterrupted period of 3 months outside of the U.S., before they will be eligible to apply for admission under an H-2A/B, again. Employees that are approved will be eligible to bring their spouses and dependent unmarried children (under the age of 21) with them as H-4s. H-4 Visa holders will not be eligible to work but can study while in the United States.

If you are a U.S. agricultural employer or a U.S. employer that is otherwise in need of temporary seasonal support from foreign workers, Zontlaw is more than capable of assisting you to get your team H-2As and H-2Bs. Do not hesitate to contact us!

How much is the filing fee for an H-1B visa?

The current cost that the USCIS charges to file an I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, is $460 dollars. This is in addition to the cost of any legal representation you decide to obtain.

How long does it take to get an H-1B visa?

It will take a little while to get your I-129 application together to even apply, and then after your application is submitted, you can expect to hear back from USCIS about your H-1B in 2-6 months time.

How do H-1B visas for fashion models work?

H-1Bs are the primary mechanism that foreign national fashion models use to work temporarily in the United States. To obtain an H-1B visa as a fashion model, you will have to be an experienced model already. You actually need to be a successful model that can be described as well-known in your field, leading, or renowned. You will also need to be coming to the United States to fill a position that requires a model of your ability. If you have the necessary credentials, we would be more than happy to assist you with your H-1B application.

Can I file H-2A and H-2B visas for more than one employee?

Yes you can file H-2A and H-2B visa applications for many different temporary employees at the same time, using one I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker form. However, it is important to note that every worker listed on your form will require the same start and end date of employment. Additionally, it is important to consider that when using one I-129 form for multiple prospective employees, if one of the applications fails, they all fail. Also, even if your employee with the more complicated situation doesn’t result in an overall denial of your I-129, their presence on the I-129 could delay everyone else in getting approved. Thus, if you have a prospective foreign national employee with a slightly more complicated situation than your other prospective employees, you are advised to file a separate petition for the employee with the more complicated situation.

Contact Attorney J.Greenberg

    Ready to apply for your H-1B or other H Visa? Get in touch with us at Zontlaw, today!

    The H Visa process is very complicated, so the best chance of success comes by working with an experienced attorney. We know how difficult process can be, and we will be with you every step of the way. We are highly experienced in US Immigration law. Our attorneys, translators and support staff will work with you individually to give you the best chance of success possible. Call the top New York Immigration Attorneys at toll free at  (888) ZONTLAW / (888) 9668529

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    Our innovative online system allows you to figure out exactly which case or immigration benefit you

    are likely eligible for, just by answering a few simple questions. After that, our system will allow you to register in our online client portal for free; with the assigned case you’re likely eligible for. You’ll be able to begin working on your case for free, by filling out our easy to understand forms (that become official USCIS forms) automatically, with our software. If you like our system and want to retain us for our Attorney Application Review service, you will be able to sign our representation agreement electronically and make your first payment.

    Schedule and have your Initial Consultation with your Attorney

    After you have made the minimum payment, you will be prompted to schedule your initial

    consultation with your attorney. Your attorney will then contact you on the date and at the time you select. During the Consultation, your attorney will verify that you are indeed eligible for the case our software assigned, and that it is the best option for you. They will then instruct you on how to properly continue to fill out your assigned Immigration Forms, and about any required or recommended supporting documentation for your case type. Your attorney will also seek to address any questions or concerns you may have, about your individual process and petition

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    your case, and any supporting documentation. Then when you have completed everything, your attorney will check your USCIS forms for accuracy, completeness, adherence to USCIS standards and procedures, and any possible ineligibility/inadmissibility grounds that might come up. Your attorney will tell you how best to address any problems with your petition that they observe, and then you will make the necessary and/or recommended changes. If you elected for the add-on service of having your attorney check your supporting documentation, they will also give you feedback on that. Once you have made the proper changes, you will print your petition, sign where indicated, and then send it off to USCIS in the pre-addressed and pre-paid envelope, we provide. From there, you’ll only have to make sure to respond to any ensuing correspondence or requests from USCIS, should there be any.
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    the case our software pre-selected, and make sure it is actually the best option for you. Your attorney will detail the steps for handling your specific immigration matter, and render you any necessary and pertinent legal advice. Addressing your questions, and requesting any documents and information that you’ll need you to provide (such as birth certificates), will also be priorities of the consultation. If you did not already retain Zontlaw formally, your attorney will send you a price quote (with the $150 dollar consultation fee deducted from the cost of your representation); after the consultation. You can then formally sign and retain us as your attorneys. After you make your first payment, your attorney will proceed to the next step. If you have already retained us, you’ll make your first payment if you haven’t already (the one after the $150 minimum), and your attorney will automatically proceed to the next step.

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    Your attorney prepares all necessary USCIS forms and any supporting materials in their power. If

    there is supporting documentation that only you as the client have access to (ex: former employer letters), they will tell you exactly what you need to do and provide you with samples, so you can get the correct documentation. Once everything is ready, your attorney will compile your case into a professional legal petition, with a cover letter and a table of contents that will please USCIS and/or the other immigration authorities. They will check everything again, and send it to you to print and sign, via our secure online system. You will print and sign your completed case, and mail it to us in the envelope we provide. Your attorney will verify that you signed in the correct places, and they will send it off to the correct USCIS Dropbox, processing center, or other authority. It is possible that USCIS or other immigration authorities may request additional documentation/clarification regarding your petition. Your attorney will handle any such requests, communicating with you as required.
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    IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY JULIA GREENBERG

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    With more than a decade in the field, Julia Greenberg has earned a reputation as a highly successful immigration attorney. Since 2006, she has represented countless corporate and individual clients in complex matters ranging from removal (deportation) to asylum, family, business and investor’s petitions, and employment-based cases.

    Authorized to practice in immigrant courts throughout the United States, Ms. Greenberg may also appear before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, and Eastern districts of New York, and the New York Supreme Court. Ms. Greenberg takes pride in helping clients who have been unable to get satisfactory results elsewhere. Her honesty and compassion, combined with her expertise and vast knowledge of immigration law make her a formidable opponent in court – resulting in a long list of satisfied clients and positive referrals.

    Outside of court, Ms. Greenberg often addresses Congress regarding relevant legislation. She also devotes her spare time to making presentations at local events, where she answers questions for New York’s immigrant community.Ms. Greenberg is a member of the New York City Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where she is a member in good standing in its New York Chapter. Ms. Greenberg is also fluent in Russian.

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    • Avatar Kate Burtsev ★★★★★ a month ago
      All through our immigration process, which took about 5 years, Julia Greenberg demonstrated professionalism, exemplary work ethics and deep knowledge of immigration law. She was always available and provided thought through answers to our … More multiple questions. In my opinion, what really distinguishes Julia from other immigration lawyers we have worked with is that she is willing to go the extra mile for her clients. The fact that the prosecutor in our case complimented Julia for her outstanding effort serves as the best proof of her professionalism.
    • Avatar randa elkhashab ★★★★★ a week ago
      This firm is just amazing ! I wouldn’t have picked a better immigration lawyer. Julia is amazing she is very understanding and took care of my husbands and I case very throughly. My case was a bit complicated and she helped us manage it … More . She helped us prepare very well . Julia was also very responsive at all times . I recommend her team in a heart beat to anyone who needs help in immigration matters. Amazing results!
    • Avatar Tatiana Tereknina ★★★★★ 7 months ago
      Julia is fantastic! She is efficient, honest and trustworthy! Our case was lost and after countless attempts to reach USCIS, I finally called Julia. She managed to resolve our issue very fast. I highly recommend Julia and her team!
    • Avatar Levan Tsurtsumia ★★★★★ 6 months ago
      I am an athlete whose I-140 was initially denied by the USCIS. I was lucky to find Julia, who in just couple of days was able to correct my case and  gather, review necessary documents and file a timely appeal. In just 3 months after she … More did it, my case was approved. Thanks to Julia I am now designated to be extraordinary in the eyes of USCIS.
      Totally recommend you guys to contact Julia, she is the best Lawyer as good person.
    • Avatar Leanor G ★★★★★ 10 months ago
      Julia is a lawyer with a big heart.
      I worked with Julia directly. Calls, correspondence were only with her. I felt strong support. It is very difficult to find a lawyer who are really involved in your case. But Julia is the right lawyer.
      … More With her you are in good hands.
      As Julia says, I will fight to the end.
    • Avatar KKProject Inc ★★★★★ 11 months ago
      It was a pleasure working with Julia! She is a very professional immigration layer and is very responsive, which was very important to us.
      Julia helped us with the citizenship case delay and picked up the marriage case. Both cases were
      … More successfully completed by her, while the previous layer has failed to do.
      Highly recommended!
    • Avatar Julia Gutsul ★★★★★ 9 months ago
      Highly recommended!!!!
      100% professional attorney! She knows her job!
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      If you have any questions regarding immigration – just call to Julia Greenberg!
      I am very thankful for her🤩🤩🤩
      I wish
      … More all the best and good luck 🌞

    OUR BLOG

    The H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa is a visa that allows individuals to work in what the law calls, “specialty occupations.” What…
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    The three main requirements for this Nonimmigrant Visa are that the company or employee: (1) Is a national, or your…
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    The United States Immigration scheme understands that sometimes non-immigrants come to the United States for one purpose, such as to…
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