VISANOW News Release
VISANOW Offers Top 5 Best Practices to Companies Needing to File H-1B Visa Applications
2008 H-1B filing begins April 1st; VISANOW provides top 5 insights for successfully filing H-1B visa applications
CHICAGO, IL March 21, 2007 – With the start date looming for filing fiscal year (FY) 2008 H-1B visa petitions, many companies are racing to accurately prepare the paperwork and gather the complete support documentation required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for H-1B applications.
Since 1998, VISANOW, the industry leading immigration solution provider, has helped hundreds of companies file successful H-1B visa applications. VISANOW delivers a technology-based service that streamlines the immigration process for companies and their foreign employees, providing substantial savings and higher approval ratings than traditional law firms. To help companies ensure critical new hires and prepare applications for the initial April 1 filing date, VISANOW offers the following top 5 best practices for H-1B visa filing:
1. Start early.
With the April 1 filing date less than two weeks away, time is running out to prepare the paperwork for H-1B visa applications. Last year, the H-1B cap of 65,000 was met in record time, with a final receipt date of May 26, 2006. Current trends point to this year’s cap being met even earlier.
2. Have the right documentation.
Gathering the right documentation for the H-1B application can save you precious time and also helps you avoid a Request for Further Evidence, which can delay the approval process. Examples of supporting documents necessary for an H-1B visa application include:
- Evidence of a bachelor’s degree
- Passport • Hiring company information
- Pay stubs
3. Become familiar with the H-1B filing process.
There are many factors to consider and valuable information to keep in mind when filing your H-1B applications, such as: • What is considered a “specialty occupation” and how is this determined? • At least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent in terms of education and/or experience) is required • The theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge • What are the filing fees to consider and which ones are applicable? • When can this applicant begin work?
4. Understand the H-1B visa filing guidelines.
It’s easy to make a mistake on the application, especially if you’re unsure of who qualifies and what restrictions apply. Keep the following guidelines in mind to help with successful filing of H-1B visas:
- Applicants must meet the minimum educational requirement of a bachelor’s degree.
- Applicants with prior stays in ‘H’ and ‘L’ status will have this time counted toward the 6-yr limit.
- Applicants residing in the U.S. must provide proof they have maintained non-immigrant status up to the time of filing or risk being required to depart the country, apply for an H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. consulate abroad and re-enter the U.S. to establish the correct H-1B status.
- First-time applications changing from another visa status (usually students – F1 visa) need to be aware of potential lapses in status between the two as H-1B visas do not start until the next fiscal year.
- The right filing fee must be determined for each application as there are four different filing fees.
5. Take advantage of immigration or employment lawyer services.
It can be a challenge to effectively navigate the U.S. immigration process. It’s important to choose the right partner to help you through the H-1B application process quickly and efficiently.
VISANOW has been encouraging companies to review their employment needs and begin the H-1B application process since January 1. With its innovative case management capabilities and responsive service teams, VISANOW helps companies prepare successful and timely applications while avoiding costly errors or delays in these new additions to their workforce.
Additionally, there are alternative options for obtaining work visas for foreign employees should you miss out on the FY 2008 H-1B visas.
VISANOW has redefined the way immigration services are delivered with a process that consistently provides faster responses, allows greater access to information and saves time. Since 1998, VISANOW has combined superior client support and innovative technology designed to simplify the immigration process for corporations and their foreign employees.