THE H-1B visa Program allows U.S. employers to hire foreigners workers with specialized skills. Human resources professionals play a crucial role in the H-1B sponsorship process. In this article, we’ll look at seven facts HR needs to know when sponsoring an H-1B employee.
1. The H-1B cap
The annual cap for H-1B visas is set at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 reserved for applicants with a master’s or doctorate degree. from an accredited U.S. college or university.
2. Exemption from the ceiling for certain positions
Certain specialty positions held by H-1B employees may be exempt from the annual cap. Nonprofit organizations, universities, government research centers, and certain physicians meeting USCIS waivers may not be subject to the cap.
3. Increased scrutiny of consulting firms
Consulting firms are facing increased scrutiny from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). All work sites must be listed in the H-1B petition and Labor Certification Applications (LCA) must be filed for job applications. Failure to maintain records of contracts, purchase orders, or statements of work with the end customer may result in the request being denied.
4. Extension process
To extend an H-1B employee’s stay beyond the initial 6 years, an application for foreign labor certification must be filed one year before expiration. Extensions may be obtained for 1 or 3 years, provided that an I-140 application for permanent residence has been approved before the end of the initial 6 years.
5. April 1 filing deadline
H-1B applications can be submitted starting April 1 each year. Transfer requests for workers who have already obtained an H-1B visa can be submitted at any time, but are subject to the annual quota. Exceptions include submissions from nonprofit research organizations, educational institutions, or individuals seeking a physician with a USCIS waiver. Only one application per worker per year is permitted, although certification may be requested for multiple workers in the same occupation, as indicated on the LCA.
6. ACV and salary requirements
Before filing an H-1B petition, employers must obtain a certified certificate Request for working conditions (LCA) of the Ministry of Labor. This document certifies the employer’s compliance with prevailing wage requirements and ensures that the H-1B employee receives wages comparable to those of U.S. workers in similar positions.
7. Dependent and non-dependent employers
Human resources professionals need to understand the distinction between dependent and non-dependent employers in the context of H-1B sponsorship. If a business has a significant number of H-1B employees relative to its overall workforce, it may be classified as H-1B dependent, subjecting it to additional attestation requirements. Knowing this classification helps HR deal with potential challenges associated with dependency status.
To navigate the H-1B sponsorship process, human resources professionals must be well-versed in the nuances of immigration law. By understanding these seven crucial facts, HR can play a central role in successfully obtaining and managing H-1B visas for their employees, contributing to the growth and diversity of the U.S. workforce.