Whether you are an employer submitting H-1B petitions to employ immigrant workers or you are a non-citizen wanting to work in the United States, there are several things you should know about the petition process. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, more than 201,000 H-1B petitions were received within a five-day filing period this year. Due to the extensive number of petitions submitted, however, not all cases are selected for processing.
Instead, the USCIS selects a certain number of petitions through a lottery. Those cases that are selected will receive a receipt in the mail, which may take several weeks to arrive. Cases that are not selected will receive the petition back in the mail with a rejection notice. Once the case has been chosen, petitions that are marked for premium processing will take 15 calendar days to process. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, a request for evidence may be needed. Employers are then asked to submit further evidence showing that the employee is eligible for an H-1B visa.
There are specific conditions that come with an H-1B visa. For instance, international travel will change the status of the visa. After you travel abroad, your employer must then file another change of status, H-1B petition with the USCIS or you must go to a U.S. Consulate and obtain an H-1B visa there. It is critical that you are aware of the rules and regulations surrounding your H-1B visa so you can potentially avoid any problems that may occur, as it could affect your job and your ability to stay in the country.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.