Distraction-free immigration services for true visionaries.
H-1B who? P-1 what? As a visionary and leader, the last thing you need is to get bogged-down in the minutia of the immigration process. Allow us to ease your mind, free your schedule, and assist in the following areas:
H-1B visas for degreed professionals and recent graduates
H1B is a professional work visa for individuals sponsored by a U.S. company who are filling a temporary position in a “specialty occupation.” A “specialty occupation” is an occupation that requires a specialized Bachelor’s or higher degree, or the equivalent. Dependent family members may qualify for H-4 status, which does not provide work authorization.
Obtaining H 1B status for an employee involves three steps: labor condition application wage certification by the US Department of Labor; approval of an H-1B petition by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services; and, when required, visa issuance by the US Department of State at a consular post abroad.
An individual may be admitted to the United States in H1B status for an initial period of up to three years. Extensions are possible for a total of six years cumulative for time spent with all employers. H-1B status may be extended beyond six years if a labor certification or I-140 application has been filed or pending for 365 days or an I-140 application has been approved.
The H-1B visa category is subject to a numerical cap each fiscal year beginning October 1. Therefore, new H-1Bs are available for only part of the year. H-1B applications may be filed up to six months in advance of the start date, and as a result, new H-1B petitions may be filed on or after April 1 of each year. Typically, an H-1B petition can be filed year-round for an individual who is currently working in H-1B status for another employer if he or she has already been counted towards the cap. Note that some employers, such as institutions of higher education or nonprofit research organizations, are not subject to the cap.
The cap gap refers to the period of time between the expiration of an F-1 student’s period of OPT authorization and the start of the new H-1B visa year on October 1. In some cases, the F-1 student may continue to work during this gap period.
F-1 students typically receive one year of Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) work authorization following graduation. These individuals must have a valid work authorization card before working. F-1 students may receive Curricular Practical Training (“CPT”) work authorization for work related to the curricular program. This must be noted on the SEVIS form by the designated school official.
TN Treaty NAFTA for Canadian and Mexican professionals
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provides for TN admission to the United States of Canadian and Mexican citizens seeking to fill a temporary position in specific professional occupations. TN status may be granted for up to three years, with extensions following. Dependent family members may receive TD authorization, which does not provide work authorization in the United States.
You should speak with an immigration lawyer about the options open to you based on your specific situation. E-1 and E-2 status is provided for traders and investors from certain treaty countries. Spouses of E-1 and E-2 visa holders may apply for work authorization in the United States, which will be demonstrated by a valid employment authorization card.
Under the employer sanctions provisions of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, employers must verify the identity and US employment authorization of every employee hired after November 6, 1986 by completing and maintaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Employers are often inconsistent in completing all required areas of the form, leaving blanks, missing signatures, checking incorrect boxes, and failing to complete the forms within the required timeline. Monetary and criminal penalties may accrue in the event of a government audit. As a result, it is worthwhile to conduct regular audits to ensure proper compliance.
In House Training for human resources staff
We assist in-house human resources departments with trainings and immigration policy development tailored to your systems and industry. Please contact us to discuss how we can assist your organization.
Christoffersen Law P.S. typically charges on a flat-fee basis for consultations and immigrant and nonimmigrant visa work. This fee structure encourages clients to ask questions and provides clarity for budgeting purposes.
We offer a reduced consultation fee for foreign students recently graduating from university.
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