65,000 for the fiscal year starting October 1. However, there are 20,000 additional H-1B visas available as an exemption from the 65,000 quota. These are reserved for people who have graduated from a U.S. university with at least a Masters degree and have other skills and experience in demand.
Research institutions and universities may also offer positions and petition for H-1B visas beyond all caps. People that may qualify for such positions have very unusual skills, education and experience, so it is rare that petitions are made beyond the official caps.
USCIS announces a cutoff date once the annual quota is reached. Petitions filed before the cutoff date, but after the quota has been used up, will be held for processing the following October. Petitions submitted after the cutoff date will be returned to the petitioner without consideration.
The USCIS filing fee is currently US$325, which must be paid by the sponsoring employer. In addition to the filing fee, the USCIS imposes a Fraud Prevention and Detection fee of US$ 500. For H1-B visa applications, the USCIS charges a fee of approximately USD$2,000 for companies that have less than 25 employees. For companies having more than 25 employees USCIS charges approximately USD$2,750.Finally, consular visa processing usually involves a charge of approximately $160 in local currency. Prevailing Wage Determinations and Labor Condition Applications are free of government charges.
On average 3-6 months in total, depending on the USCIS Regional Service Center processing the application - unless using Premium Procession.
Yes. You can pay USCIS an extra fee of $1,225 for Premium Processing. This guarantees USCIS will adjudicate the petition in 15 days or notify the petitioner if more evidence is needed.
This is possible but not advisable, and under no accounts should the alien risk putting in jeopardy the issue of an H1B visa by engaging in anything that might be construed as work, as this may lead to the alien being accused of visa-fraud either on entry to the US with a visitor visa/visa-waiver or when applying for an H1B visa at the US consulate in their own country.
No, but if you dismiss the worker before the H1B visa expires you are responsible for his/her reasonable costs of return transportation to their home country. You will probably not be responsible for such costs for his or her dependants, however.
Dependents of the H1B alien are granted H-4 visas, which are not employment-authorized. Thus they cannot work unless their prospective employer obtains a work visa like an H-1B if the dependent has the eligibility. H-4 dependents may, however, undertake study in the USA.
Yes, but a separate Labor Condition Application must be made for each site at which the employee will be working (though there is a limited exception for short-term assignments at different sites within the same Metropolitan Statistical Area).
Yes, but remember the sponsor has to pay the prevailing wage whether or not they can find employment for the alien.
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