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US H-1B Non-immigrant Visa Application Procedures and Fees

U.S. H-1B Non-immigrant Visa Application Procedures and Fees

Unless otherwise indicated, the work visa application stated in this quotation refers to non-immigrant petition for Temporary Workers in Specialty Occupations under the United States Immigration and Nationality Act.

In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in the United States, he/she requires a visa permit for work in the United States. The foreigners who wish to take up any short-term or long-term employment (whether paid or unpaid) in the United States, he/she must obtain an employment visa/permit from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") before take-up the employment.

The H-1B non-immigrant visa category is created for graduate level professionals who wish to work in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as computer science, medicine, dentistry, engineering, accounting, architecture, and more.

H-1B visas are subjected to an annual visa cap each financial year. The current cap for H-1B visa is 65,000 visas, with an additional 20,000 visas for applicants who completed their master's degree from an U.S. academic institution each fiscal year.  USCIS holds a lottery for the H-1B visas available.

An initial period of stay of no more than 3 years is granted to persons coming to the U.S. in the H-1B category, with an extension of a maximum of 6 years. Although H-1B is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few U.S. visa categories recognized as dual intent. An H-1B visa holder can apply for Green Card while being in the U.S. on an H-1B visa.

Family members of the H-1B non-immigrant are entitled to admission in the H-4 non-immigrant category. Included in this category is the spouse of the visa holder, as well as minor unmarried children under the age of 21. Family members are admitted for the same period of time for which the principal family member is admitted. H family members are not authorized for employment.

All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria specified in the Section 3 of this quotation may apply for the H-1B work visa in the United States.

  1. United States H-1B Work Visa Application Fees

    Our fees for assisting client to register for the electronic registration process for the H-1B cap is $500. If the registration is selected, our fee for handling the H-1B visa petition is USD6,000. An extra USD1,000 will be charged for each dependent visa. In particular, our fees cover the following services:
    1. Providing advices regarding the application for H-1B visa in the United States in general
    2. Prepare and submit H-1B electronic registration to USCIS;
    3. If selected, prepare and file Labour Conditions Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor;
    4. Providing assistance for the preparation of documents required for the client;
    5. Review petition documents prepared by applicant(s);
    6. Preparation of petition letter(s) and application form(s);
    7. Submission of petition package to the USCIS;
    8. Liaison with the USCIS regarding the petition;
    9. Report the application status to the client;
    10. Visa Application Processing at the U.S. Embassy after approval (if applicable);

    11. Preparing Client for Interview at U.S. Embassy

    1. The fees quoted above exclude the government fee.
    2. The fees stated are exclusive of delivery charge, if any.
    3. The fees stated exclude document translation fee. Please contact us for quotation if  you wish to employ us to translate the documents.
    4. Premium processing service is available for an extra fee of $2,500*. (USCIS will process the petition in 15 calendar days)

    * Premium processing service can be utilized only if the instant H-1B registration is selected.

  2. Payment Term and Method

    Upon receipt of confirmation of engagement, we will issue an invoice and email it together with detailed wire instructions to you. Because of the nature of services, we require full payment in advance. In addition, once service is commenced, no service fees will be refunded. We currently only accept check, cash or TT and credit card payment through PayPal. If invoice is settled by PayPal, an extra 5% service fee will be charged.

    If Taiwan uniform invoice is required, a Business Tax at 5% of the invoiced amount will be charged and collected.

  3. Eligibility Criteria

    In order to apply for H-1B work visa, the following eligibility requirements need to be applied:
    1. An U.S. company willing to sponsor the applicant into the U.S.;
    2. The offered position must be an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelorís or higher degree in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S.;
    3. The position must needs to be (a) Bachelorís or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the particular position (b) The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree (c) The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position (d) The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelorís or higher degree;
    4. Applicant must meet one of the following criteria: (a) Hold a U.S. bachelorís or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university (b) Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelorís or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university (c) Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorize you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.

    The above-mentioned eligibility criteria may be subject to change from time to time by USCIS without prior notice. Please consult with Kaizen Consultants for more information.

  4. Procedures and Timeline

    USCIS employs an electronic registration system for the selection of H-1B petitions. The lottery is held annually in every March. The initiation of the H-1B procedures starts with employer registering for the H-1B electronic registration. USCIS will then hold a lottery and notify the employer who were selected. Upon selection, employer should file H-1B petition to the USCIS before the designated deadline. USCIS processing time ranges from almost 6 months with regular processing to about 3 weeks with premium processing. The prospective employee can obtain the H-1B visa at the consular post should the petition be approved. In another case if the employee is already in the U.S., a change of status application must be filed with USCIS or the individual may leave the country to obtain a visa at a U.S. consulate and reenter the U.S. as an H-1B worker. The whole application process generally takes about 4 to 9 months. Please be noted that in the case USCIS or the U.S. consulate finds the submitted documents to be insufficient, it may request for additional evidence that the application time shall be extended.

  5. Documents and Information Needed

    1. Company Profile;
    2. Recent Tax Return;
    3. Business License and Permits;
    4. Certified Labor Conditions Application

    1. Passport Biographical Page;
    2. Resume;
    3. Degree Diplomas and Transcripts;
    4. Proof of Prior Employment;

    All documents submitted must be in English or translated into English by a certified translation body.

    *USCIS reserve the right to demand further documents from the applicant or employing company as and when necessary.

  6. Application Procedures

    The whole application process would take about 4 to 9 months. The table below shows the estimated time frame for each of the steps for the registration process.
    Step Procedure Responsible Party Working Days (estimated)
    1 Interview with our immigration consultant. Client Clientís Schedule
    2 Sign and return retainer agreement along with retainer fees. Client Clientís Schedule
    3 Complete questionnaire and prepare the documents specified in the checklist. Client Clientís Schedule
    4 Upon receipt of the aforesaid documents, our firm will prepare and submit the H-1B electronic registration. Kaizen 2 - 3 Days
    5 USCIS releases lottery results. USCIS 30 Days
    6 If registration is selected, our firm will prepare and file H-1B petition to the USCIS. Kaizen 30 Days
    7 Receive response from USCIS. If the case is approved, the case will be forwarded to National Visa Centre and we will prepare the visa application and schedule interview appointment. If USCIS requests further evidences, we will prepare for the response. USCIS/Kaizen
    USCIS Processing Time: 1-6 Months
    RFE Response: 2 Weeks
    8 Prepare client for interview. Client Clientís Schedule
    9 Interview at the consulate. Client Consulateís Schedule
    10 Receive passport and visa. Client 3-4 Days

    Total working days

    4-9 Months

    1. The estimated time is based on high cooperation between Kaizen and the client.
    2. The estimated time does not include delays caused by relevant government agencies.

  7. Validity of Work Visa

    The initial validity period of an H-1B visa is no more than 3 years. The visa holder can petition USCIS to request an extension of stay in H status for 3 years before his or her status expires. The maximum period of stay in H status is 6 years.

    Workers admitted under the visa application scheme which are mentioned in this quotation who are on employment condition shall only take up such employment as approved by the USCIS. In case the visa holder decided to change of job, they must seek prior approval from the USCIS even the work visa still not yet expired. Such applications may be favourably considered if the applicants continue to fulfill the eligibility criteria under relevant visa application scheme.

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