Who Can Apply for Visas Under the H1B Visa Law?


Immigration law contains several sections on various types of visas for immigration and alien residency or visitor status. As such, it can be confusing for people new to the process to understand which types of visas are relevant and how to properly apply for them. One of the best things that anyone can do is to hire an immigration lawyer that can specifically help with Los Angeles H1B visa cases. 

An H1B visa lawyer in Los Angeles will be able to sit down with people and walk them through the process of applying for and obtaining that visa. They may also be able to advise on when someone should be looking for a different type of visa or immigration option if the H1B law doesn’t fit their exact needs or situation. 

How Does the H1B Visa Work?

For starters, individuals cannot file for or apply for this type of visa on their own. This must be done by U.S. companies that are sponsoring the people that they want to employ. The government only makes so many of these visas available each year, so they are limited in quantity, and to qualify, people must meet several criteria. 

The H1B operates on a points-based system and is only available to those who are capable of earning 12 points or more. This requires a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree, as well as 12 years of work experience. While any specialist employee may be awarded one of these visas, common applicants come from industries like finance, IT, medicine and science, architecture, and similar fields.

Since there is a huge demand for this visa and a limited supply, it is always in the best interest of companies and the employees they are applying for to work with a qualified immigration lawyer. They will need to provide documentation of education and/or work experience that totals an equivalent of at least 12 points. Three points are given for each year of college, with one point awarded for every year of work experience. 12 is the minimum and some people will score much higher. 

Who Pays for the Fees?

A common question involved in any visa case is how the filing fees and other costs are paid. It may even be a question of the petitioner as to who should pay for the legal representation. Since the employer is doing the legwork and requesting the visa, the financial responsibility is generally on their shoulders. After all, it is to their benefit that the individual is allowed to work in the U.S. so that they can retain them for their specialty skills. 

The standard H1B visa filing fee changes from one year to the next, so applicants and their employees will need to contact a reputable H1B visa lawyer in Los Angeles to discuss what the cost will be, as well as any legal fees and associated costs. Fortunately, again, most employers take care of this so employees will only need to assist with documentation and paperwork. 

What Can People Do with This Visa?

Upon being approved for this type of visa, people will be able to live and work in the United States legally. They can extend their stay in the country based on their work and the demand for their specialty skills. This also allows dependent spouses and children under 21 years of age to stay with the petitioner in the U.S. for as long as they are granted visa status. 

One thing that many people don’t realize is that petitioners don’t have to stay with their sponsoring employer forever. While there may be specific terms between the employer and petitioner for the visa, the law does allow those holding an H1B visa to change employers, so long as they are still working in a specialist field and performing work for which they are the most qualified individual. 

Those who are looking for other types of work-related visas, including ones that allow them to apply as an individual, will need to discuss their situation with an immigration lawyer to determine the best course of action. It doesn’t cost a lot to have professional representation in your immigration case and it’s worth the peace of mind. This will ensure that everything is done to the letter of the law, which will provide more likelihood that the visa application will be approved, and the process will be swift and efficient. 

Choose an Experienced Lawyer

While some lawyers will claim that they can handle any case, there are some things best left to the experts. Immigration law is one of those areas, which is why you must hire a qualified lawyer that is experienced for the type of visa that you need. For example, you might need an L1 visa lawyer in Los Angeles or someone familiar with TN visa law in Los Angeles. If so, feel free to ask specifically what kind of experience the firm has and how many cases they’ve handled, as well as the outcomes. 

In addition to experience, it’s helpful to choose a lawyer that has your best interests in mind and that will work with you to take the stress out of the process. Even though the employer is responsible for the filing and application process, the employee still has a stake in the game. Knowing there’s a good lawyer on the case gives everyone peace of mind. Not only that, but most companies have better things to do than micromanage their legal matters. 

With a better understanding of immigration law, the entire process can be easier and less uncertain for employees, employers, and everyone involved in the process. After all, the process is daunting enough without added stress. Those who have an experienced immigration lawyer that understands these visas and knows how to help secure the best chances of approval will enjoy a much easier, less stressful process in getting their visa situation settled.