As a small business owner, you may not be aware that you can sponsor H-1B workers – and that may be the perfect solution if you’re trying to meet staffing requirements with specialized workers.
First, you need to know:
- What an H-1B visa is
- How to sponsor workers on H1B visas
- Where to turn for help
What is an H-1B Visa?
An H-1B Employment Visa is an employment-based nonimmigrant visa. It allows a company to bring in temporary workers.
The workers you hire must have at least a bachelor’s degree (or a foreign equivalent), and their total stay is limited to 6 years. Initially, your workers’ visas are approved for 3 years; then, they can extend for an additional 3 years. There’s also a dependent category for an H-1B visa (the H-4 visa) that covers each worker’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
How to Sponsor Workers on H-1B Visas
In order to qualify as a sponsor for H-1B visas, you must show that:
- The position for which you’re hiring requires knowledge gained through a higher education or special training
- The position requires a specific course of study
- Performance in the position requires a bachelor’s degree
Your employee must also show:
- State licensure for the job, if required
- A completed degree in a field directly related to the job or equivalent experience
- Expertise in the field
You, as the employer, must file the petition on your employee’s behalf. These are the steps you need to follow:
1. File a Labor Condition Application, or LCA, with the U.S. Department of Labor.
The LCA contains several statements, including that you attest to the fact that hiring people on H-1B visas won’t adversely affect any native U.S. workers. You must also state that:
- You will pay the worker the prevailing wage for that job
- You’ll provide the employee with the same benefits as others in that position would enjoy
- There’s no active labor dispute in place when you file
2. Submit a completed Form I-129 to United States Customs and Immigration Services.
You’re responsible for filling out and filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. You must submit your completed and certified LCA with the form if you’re hiring for a specialty occupation or a fashion model.
3. Have prospective workers apply for a visa.
Once your Form I-129 has been approved, the worker you intend to hire can apply for an H-1B visa through the Department of State by visiting a U.S. embassy or consulate. The worker must also apply to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for admission to the U.S.
More Information on How Small Companies Can Sponsor H-1B Workers
There’s a limit to the number of H-1B visas the U.S. government will issue each year. The first 20,000 petitions from people who have a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. (You can get information on each year’s cap here.)
Do You Need an Immigration Attorney to Help Your Small Company Sponsor H-1B Workers?
Most business owners and entrepreneurs find that it’s a lot simpler to work with a Miami immigration attorney when it comes to sponsoring H-1B workers – and it might be easier for you, too.
Call us at 786) 805-4810 for a free consultation right now. We may be able to help you give your business the kick-start it needs.
About Davis & Associates:
Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in Miami, FL and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Davis & Associates
Address: 6303 Blue Lagoon Dr #400, Miami, FL 33126
Phone: (786) 805-4810