Category Archive H-1 Visa H-1B Status Fresno

ByPhillip Kim

Time to File H-1B Work Visa 2017; when to file h1b 2018 cap how to file and change status prevailing wage specialty occupation

Now is the time to prepare for your H-1B Work Visa/status filing. It is anticipated that USCIS will reach its H-1B Cap in the first week of April 2017. Thus, you should start your preparation now or by mid February at the latest, because it could take a few weeks to complete H-1B filing.

Requirement 1 – You must have an employer-employee relationship with the petitioning U.S. employer.

In general, a valid employer-employee relationship is determined by whether the U.S. employer may hire, pay, fire, supervise or otherwise control the work of the H-1B worker. In some cases, the sole or majority owner of the petitioning company or organization may be able to establish a valid employer-employee relationship, if the facts show that the petitioning entity has the right to control the beneficiary’s employment.

Requirement 2 – Your job must qualify as a specialty occupation by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for the particular position;
  • The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • 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 bachelor’s or higher degree.

that normally requires a degree in a related field?

Requirement 3 – Your job must be in a specialty occupation related to your field of study.

+ How do I show that my degree is related to the specialty occupation?

+ Can I qualify without a bachelor’s degree?

Requirement 4 – You must be paid at least the actual or prevailing wage for your occupation, whichever is higher.

The prevailing wage is determined based on the position in which you will be employed and the geographic location where you will be working (among other factors). The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a database with applicable current prevailing wage levels based on occupation and work location. To view the wage database and estimate the prevailing wage that may be required for your position, click here.


Requirement 5 – An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filing the petition, unless the petition is exempt from numerical limits.

The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education (or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities), a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.  Cap numbers are often used up very quickly, so it is important to plan in advance if you will be filing for an H-1B visa that is subject to the annual H-1B numerical cap. The U.S. government’s fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. H-1B petitions can be filed up to 6 months before the start date, which is generally April 1 for an October 1 start date.

(from USCIS)

ByPhillip Kim

Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants

The Department of Homeland Security’s latest proposal would allow certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B principal nonimmigrants to obtain employment authorization from USCIS. The Department of Homeland Security states that if this proposal is passed, it would benefit H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B principal nonimmigrants who are in the process of obtaining a green card through employment.

H-1B principal nonimmigrants who are considered to be “in the process of obtaining a green card through employment” are those who have an approved I-140 petition, or have been granted an extension of their stay in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21).

The purpose of this proposal is to relieve the financial burden of H-1B principal nonimmigrants while they are awaiting for their green cards through employment since under current law H-4 dependent spouses are not allowed to work in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security believes such proposal would further their goal of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers in the United States.

ByPhillip Kim

Questions You May Have Regarding Your Visa Application


1. What happens after my case goes to NVC?

NVC will request additional documentation from the applicant and petitioner if a visa number will be available for your petition. If a visa number is not available, NVC will hold your petition until a visa becomes available.

2. I have a family emergency and need an immigrant visa immediately. Is there a way to speed up the process?

If a visa number is available and your situation pertains to serious medical emergency, your case might qualify to be expedited. You must have proper documentation from the physician describing the life or death medical situation in order to be considered.

3. I went in for an interview for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy but was refused. Is there a way to reverse this?

NVC cannot reverse a petition decision. You should contact the U.S. consular office where your case was processed.

4. I recently moved. What do I need to do?

You should update your information with NVC immediately to prevent any delays in your visa petition.

ByPhillip Kim

Immigration With the Temporary Work Visa


The H-1B visa is for qualified workers wanting to enter the U.S. for a limited time in order to work. This visa is designed for migrants who already have a prospective employer in the U.S. who can file some necessary forms on the worker’s behalf. The H1-B program is only allotted 65,000 visas each year, so there is no guarantee that in any given year you will be granted an H-1B visa.

Before submitting the H-1B application, H-1B qualified occupations and H-1B3 fashion models must have the Labor Certification Application approved. Your prospective U.S. employer must file the LCA on your behalf with the U.S. Department of Labor. If you are granted certification, your employer can then file a petition for alien employee on your behalf. Both the certification and petition are necessary and mandatory for all H-1B1 and H-1B3 applicants. If you are being represented by an immigration attorney during your visa process, you must submit your consent to your lawyer’s interference. You will also need to include proper documentation of your identity, admissibility to the U.S., educational attainment, and relevant work experience necessary to your specific subcategory of the H-1B. Foreign language documents should include a full English translation to ensure proper review.

Alien workers applying to extend the time on their H-1B visa must reapply following the same guidelines.

ByPhillip Kim

Facing Deportation and Removal—What You Can Do


If you have violated immigration law, you may be subject to deportation or removal proceedings. For illegal U.S. residents who were removed just once, there is a 3 year period that you are barred from re-entering the U.S. For long periods of undocumented U.S. residence or multiple removal offenses, the period of time that you are not admissible to immigrate to the U.S. can grow to up to 20 years.

Immigrants may be detained (jailed) for violations of current immigration law. The minimum bail you will be facing if detained on an immigration hold is $1,500 although it could be more depending on any other criminal record. If you are living in an area participating in the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities Program, immigrants with criminal histories may be deported.

If you are not yet in court proceedings for your removal with the Board of Immigration Appeals, you may have some particular options for avoiding deportation. Some applicants may be allowed to withdraw their application for permanent residence without the consequence of deportation.

Applicants facing deportation may also have the option of voluntarily departing the U.S. While voluntary departure does result in you leaving the U.S., immigrants who voluntarily depart are not subject to the periods of waiting before they can re-enter the U.S.

If you are currently in formal removal proceedings with the Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and/or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you may have the option of having your deportation cancelled. If you have been a long-term resident of the U.S. and can demonstrate, using the proper U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services waiver, that your deportation would cause your spouse or parents extreme hardship, your deportation may be cancelled. You may also need to file other waivers that support or assert your admissibility for residence in the U.S.

Refugees, Asylees, and battered spouses and children can be subject to removal proceedings for being in violation of immigration law. However, you cannot be deported while your application for asylum is pending. Refugees and asylees will not be deported. However, if your asylum is cancelled or suspended at any time, your removal proceedings may resume.

ByPhillip Kim

Getting U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization


U.S. citizenship provides many rights, but also involves many responsibilities. Thus, the decision to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization is important. By becoming a U.S. citizen, you gain many rights that permanent residents or others do not have, including the right to vote. To be eligible for naturalization, you must first meet certain requirements set by U.S. law.

Requirements to be eligible for naturalization include being age 18 or older, being a permanent resident for a certain time period, having good moral character, having a basic knowledge of the U.S. government, having continuous residence in the U.S., and being able to communicate English (with some exceptions).

So when is it possible to apply for naturalization?

One may be able to apply for naturalization if he/she is at least 18 years of age and have been a permanent resident either for at least 5 years, at least 3 years (during which you have been in a marriage relationship with your U.S. citizen husband or wife), or have honorable service in the U.S. military. Certain spouses of U.S. citizens and/or members of the military may be able to file for naturalization sooner than noted above.

To learn more about the naturalization process and take the first step in applying for U.S. citizenship, contact attorney Phillip Kim for specialized help tailored to your needs.


The H-1B Visa: Are You Eligible?

Certain jobs are eligible for a temporary visa. The H1-B visa limits your stay in the U.S. to 3 years. If you are looking to stay in the U.S. for work long term, you should look into a visa that will transition into a green card for permanent residence. For temporary work, you might be eligible for the H1-B visa.

The H1-B has 2 levels of eligibility, some for the prospective job and others for you, the prospective worker. The job must require at least a bachelor’s degree. If the job does not require a BA or above, it should usually require a degree or entail specialized skills associated with a degree. To qualify to accept an eligible job and receive a visa to work, you should have education or training relevant to the job, a college education, or the foreign equivalent to a degree. You should also have an unrestricted license in your home country.

The H1-B visa is also meant to include researchers or development workers entering to work on a project with the U.S. Department of the Defense. Under this category, your employer does not need to apply for your visa.

Fashion models are also eligible for the H1-B visa if he or she is considered well known or highly regarded in the field.

To apply for the H1-B visa, your employer will need to apply for your certification and petition for your visa. Then, you should apply for your temporary work visa. If you are not living in the U.S., you can apply for your visa with the U.S. Department of State or with your U.S. Embassy.

There is a limit to the number of work visas given every year, so you are not guaranteed a workers visa. There may also be a waiting period for your visa to be approved even after your application has been accepted. This could mean that you will be guaranteed a visa but have to wait before there is one available for your travel.

For more help about getting a visa, contact immigration attorney Phillip Kim


H-1B Visa: Annual Cap and Forms

While you may qualify for an H-1B visa, it is not guaranteed that you will be granted a visa. Other factors must be taken into consideration like the H-1B cap. Every fiscal year, 65,000 H-IB visas are granted to workers. If you have an advanced degree, higher than a Bachelor’s, then you may be exempt from the cap. Also, extra visas are set aside every year for workers from Chile and Singapore. Otherwise, your application may be rejected due to the limit per year. Contact an immigration attorney for more information about the fiscal year cap and whether or not you qualify for an H-1B visa.

When filing your petition, you need to ensure that all parts of your application are completed and submitted properly. Form I-129 must be completed and sent along with a check or money order for the filing fee. Along with the petition, make sure you send in all evidence and necessary documents. If not, confusion will result in a late response from USCIS or your petition might even be rejected. If you fail to complete the form entirely, you will be denied a visa. Other documents must also be submitted like the Labor Condition Application and evidence of your educational background like a final transcript or letter from the Registrar. If you’re applying on the basis of sufficient experience, you will need evidence of this as well.

Several forms must be filed in addition to the I-129. An H Classification Supplement to the form must be submitted and an H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement. You must also organize the paperwork including a Table of Contents.

In terms of filing fees, it is the employer’s responsibility to pay for the forms that will be filed with USCIS. In some cases, arrangements are made between the worker and employer to determine who will pay for the I-120 petition and additional fees that are associated with it. Speak with your employer for more information and to reach an agreement on who will pay the final fees.

Applying for an H-1B visa can be complicated process. To avoid making any mistakes on your application, contact a specialized immigration lawyer who will make your case his top priority.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the H-1B visa, contact Specialized Immigration Attorney Phillip Kim.


Employment in the U.S.: Do You Qualify for an H-1B Visa?

H-1B visas apply to people who want to come to the U.S. to perform special services or work on the basis of exceptional merit. You can live in the U.S. for 3 years and this time can be extended up to 6 years.
If you would like to be considered for an H-1B visa for specialty occupations, one of the following must be true about your job.


  • The job requires someone who has a Bachelor’s degree or higher. In some countries, the Bachelor’s degree is known by another name – that is fine as long as it is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.


  • Secondly, it must be true that the employer normally needs someone with a degree to work. It also has to be normal for the industry to require a degree from workers. For example, it is a common rule that doctors, teachers, or engineers to have some form of degree in order to work. Restaurant or gas station jobs do not require special degrees from its workers.


  • The job can also be so complicated that it cannot be done by a worker who does not have a degree or Bachelor’s degree.

If your job meets just one of the conditions listed above, the first check has been completed. You are now ready to determine if you meet the criteria to apply for an H-1B visa. In order to be eligible, you must meet one of the following conditions.


  • You must hold a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent that is required by your employer at an accredited university or college.


  • Or, you must have a license that indicates that you are authorized to work in the state where you are employed. If you are planning on working in California, your license should state that you are permitted to practice your employment in this state.

If you don’t fall into the categories listed, you still have a chance at being accepted for an H-1B:

  • Have you worked or trained in a job enough that you now have the education and expertise of someone who has a degree? Then you might qualify. It is necessary that your knowledge of the field is recognized through advanced employment positions that indicate your level of training in the field.

If your job satisfies one of the criteria above and you educational or employment history indicates that you meet one of the criteria as well, then you may have a chance at receiving an H-1B visa. Other factors must be taken into consideration like the H-1B cap. Every fiscal year, 65,000 H-IB visas are granted to workers. If you have an advanced degree, higher than a Bachelor’s, then you may be exempt from the cap. Also, extra visas are set aside every year for workers from Chile and Singapore. Otherwise, your application may be rejected due to the limit per year. Contact an immigration attorney for more information about the fiscal year cap and whether or not you qualify for an H-1B visa.

Because determining your eligibility is a complicated task, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an attorney. If you have any questions about the H-1B visa, please contact Immigration Attorney Phillip Kim.

ByPhillip Kim

Naturalization Process for the Military by Immigration Attorney in Fresno


● While a member of the U.S. armed forces must meet the general requirements and qualifications to become a citizen of the United States, such as good moral character, some of the other requirements are either reduced or completely waived. Specifically, qualifying service members and certain veterans are not required to demonstrate residence or physical presence in the United States, and are not required to pay an application fee or a biometrics fee to apply for naturalization. In addition, service members who serve during specifically designated periods of hostilities may not need to be lawful permanent residents.
● The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 extended all aspects of the naturalization process, including naturalization applications, interviews, oaths and ceremonies to members of the U.S. armed forces serving abroad. Before Oct. 1, 2004, service members could only naturalize while physically within the United States.
● The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 added Sections which allows certain eligible spouses and children of members of the U.S. armed forces to naturalize abroad without traveling to the United States for any part of the naturalization process.

Service in Wartime

● Members of the military, who serve during specifically designated periods of hostilities, may qualify for naturalization under this provision if they have served honorably in an active duty status for any period of time, and if that service was during a specifically designated period of hostility.
● Unlike all other provisions for naturalization, a qualifying service member is not required to be a lawful permanent resident to naturalize under this provision if the service member enlisted, or was inducted within the United States or other qualifying geographical area.
● The Expedited Naturalization Executive Order of 2002 provides for expedited naturalization under this provision to qualified aliens and non-citizen nationals serving honorably in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces beginning on Sept. 11, 2001 to the present. This section also covers veterans of designated past wars and conflicts.

Service in Peacetime

An individual may qualify for naturalization under this provision if he or she:

● Served honorably in the military for at least one year
● Obtained lawful permanent resident status
● Filed an application while still in the service or within six months of separation.

Application Packet (from a member of the military)
● Application for Naturalization
● Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service
● If applicable, a copy of the USCIS Form I 551, Permanent Resident Card; and
● Two passport-style photographs.
● NOTE – There is no fee for members of the military applying for naturalization under INA Sections 328 or 329.


● Since September 2001, USCIS has naturalized more than 58,300 members of the military, in ceremonies across the United States and in the following 19 countries: Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
● Since August 2002, USCIS has granted posthumous citizenship to 130 members of the military.
● Since 2008, USCIS has naturalized 592 military spouses during ceremonies in Bulgaria, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Panama, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
● Since 2009, USCIS has presented 19 military children with citizenship certificates during ceremonies in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

For More Information. Please Contact:
Fresno Immigration Attorney Phillip Kim
(559) 761-9742