More H1B Tips
By Sanford Posner
March 2, 2016
We are now in March, and at the end of the month H1B's will be signed, sealed and delivered to the Immigration Service. Here are some tips to consider while you work with your employer in getting your case assembled. There is very little that can be done to ensure that your petition will be selected in the lottery other than making sure that it is properly filed during the acceptance period.
How do I ensure that my case is not rejected in the mail room?
One of the easiest ways for the Immigration Service to eliminate a case from the quota is to reject it because it was not properly filed. Before the case is sent out make sure that the current edition of the forms have been used and that all the required pages are included. Check to ensure all the required signatures are executed and the proper filing fees are attached. Finally, make sure you are filing the case with the correct Service Center.
I am eligible for a STEM extension to my OPT. Should I file a quota case this year?
Yes. There is no guarantee that you will be selected in the quota and the STEM extension system is to give certain foreign national graduates more opportunities to obtain a H1B. Furthermore, we do not know what changes, if any, will occur to the STEM program in the next several months. Do not miss an available opportunity to file your H1B quota case this year.
The petitioner for my H1B is an IT company that will be placing me at a client site. Are there any additional materials to include with my petition?
Aside from the usual supporting evidence in the H1B petition make sure your employer includes details about the off-site placement. Typically a letter from the client including information about the project, the time frame of the project, the skill set required to perform the work and most importantly the fact that the client will not be your employer. Including the client letter in the H1B petition will hopefully prevent a Request for Evidence (RFE) from the Immigration Service.
I am an employer and I am trying to decide between H1B candidates who are in the United States versus candidates who are abroad. Which ones should I look at first?
Go with the candidates in the United States. I strongly urge employers to access the talent pool that is currently in the country. The great unknown is the Consular Processing hurdle. Even if a foreign national has a H1B approval in hand when they arrive at the Consular Post, the Consular Officer has final discretion as to whether the visa will be issued. There is very little that an employer or an attorney can do to expedite the review process once a 221(g) letter is issued. The best bet for an employer is to focus on readily available U.S. candidates.
Thanks again for your interest. Feel free to contact me regarding your immigration situation.