The H-1 “Work Visa” Application Process

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The H-1 Work Visa is a temporary permit for an alien to work in the United States. The work Visa is the first stage in obtaining permission for an alien to live and work in the U.S.A., the second stage being the labor certification process which is described in a separate document. The H-1 is initially granted for a period of up to three years, with subsequent renewals possible. The total time that an alien can remain employed under an H-1 Visa is restricted to a maximum of six years.

In order to obtain the H-1 Visa, the employer must file an application for the H-1 Visa with the appropriate governmental bodies. In order to obtain the H-1 Visa, the applicant must contact the U.S. Department of Labor, the State Bureau of Employment Services, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

An important issue in the H-1 Visa process is the determination of an appropriate wage to be paid to the alien. Occasionally, if the Bureau of Employment Services sets forth a wage that is not realistic considering the type of work that the alien is performing, such wage determination can be appealed, and in the appropriate circumstances reduced commensurate with the alien’s job duties.

Overall, the H-1 process, not including any wage appeals, should take approximately 90 days. The H-1 process is complex, and an applicant is well advised to seek legal counsel in proceeding to file an H-1 Application.

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