We have provided answers to some of the frequently asked questions that our office receives for nonimmigrant works visas and employment-based green cards. Don’t see an answer to your question? Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 919-833-0840.
What is an H-1B visa?
- H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. An H-1B visa can be issued for up to three years at a time for a maximum amount of six years.
What is the H-1B cap lottery?
- All foreign nationals seeking to be H-1B visa holders, outside of those who qualify for cap-exempt petitions, must be counted against the H-1B visa cap. Per fiscal year, 85,000 H-1B visas are issued, 20,000 of which are exclusively for foreign nationals with a master’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university
What is an L-1 visa?
- The L-1 visa enables U.S. employers to transfer certain types of employees from one of its qualifying foreign offices to one of its offices in the U.S.
- L-1A, Executive or Manager, generally an employee who can make wide latitude decisions without oversight; and an employee who supervise other professional employees and/or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization
- L-1A, New Office, an employee in executive or managerial position in a foreign office coming to the U.S. to set up and establish a U.S. office
What is premium processing?
- Premium processing is a service allowed for certain immigrant and non-immigrant petitions. By paying the fee of $1410.00 (as of October 1, 2018), USCIS guarantees a decision to be issued on the case within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt. This benefit applies to H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, R-1 non-immigrant visas, and I-140 (EB-2, EB-3 classification) immigrant petition
What is a Request for Evidence (RFE)?
- An RFE is a request by the reviewing officer for more information and documentation so that they can either approve or deny an application. An RFE is not something to be afraid of, but can indicate that key information was not included in the original filing, and an attorney should be contacted to prepare the response to USCIS.
What is an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker?
- An I-140 is an immigrant petition filed by the employer on behalf of the beneficiary, the foreign worker receiving the benefit. The I-140 is an offer of employment on a permanent basis. This petition is used for an alien worker to become a permanent resident in the U.S.
What is the difference between EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5 preference categories?
- EB-1, Multi-national Manager or Executive, Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professor or Researcher, is a preference category intended for priority workers.
- EB-2, Workers with Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts, or Business, is a preference category for those in a profession holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national with exceptional ability
- EB-3, Skilled Workers and Professionals, is a preference category for those who are a skilled worker, professional, or other worker
- EB-4, Special Immigrants, is a preference category for certain special immigrants including religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, Broadcasters, G-4 International Organization or NATO-6 Employees, International Employees of U.S. Government Abroad, Armed Forces Members, Panama Canal Zone Employees, Certain Physicians, Afghani and Iraqi Translators, and Afghan and Iraqi Nationals Who Have Provided Faith Service in Support of U.S. Operations
What is a visa priority date? What is the visa bulletin?
- A visa priority date is the foreign national’s “place in line” to obtain a green card.
- The visa bulletin is a monthly publication by the Department of State providing information on who can apply for permanent residency, as well as an estimate on wait time depending on preference category and country of origin. The visa bulletin is issued every month and can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin.html