Start Preparing Your H-1B Application Now to Be the First to File on April 1, 2015

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

ImageOn April 1, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions for H-1B specialty occupation visas.  Approved applications will allow a foreign national to commence employment in the new fiscal new year, which starts on October 1, 2015.  USCIS limits the number of petitions it will accept to 65,000, and operates on a first come, first serve basis. Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of petitions submitted to USCIS.  Last year, on April 7, 2014, USCIS announced that it reached the statutory cap of 65,000 within the first week of the acceptance period. This year, the cap will likely be reached within the first few days of the April 1 opening.

For those wishing to file an H-1B petition, it is strongly advised that the application materials be received by USCIS exactly on April 1, 2014 to ensure that an application falls within the 65,000 cap. Note that petitions received before April 1, or after April 5, will most likely be rejected by USCIS. Continue reading

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Which U.S. Visas are Available for People in the Arts and Entertainment Industry?

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

For artists, chefs, musicians, dancers, athletes, performers, and other individuals with talent in the art and entertainment industry, there are numerous visa types available to enter and work in the United States on a non-immigrant visa. Read below to learn about the visa types that may be available to such individuals.

O-1: Individuals With Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

TheImage O-1 visa is reserved for a very limited group of people possessing exceptional abilities in the arts, sciences, education, entertainment or business. To qualify for an O-1 visa, the applicant must not only be considered “world-class” in his or her profession, but must be internationally known and recognized for their achievements. According to USCIS, to qualify for an O-1 visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate a “sustained national or international acclaim.”

As a general rule, a successful O-1 application will include letters of recommendation from recognized individuals and organizations in the relevant field, and demonstrable proof that the applicant is nationally or internationally recognized. Continue reading

The April 1 Deadline to Submit H1-B Petitions is Rapidly Approaching: Prepare Your Application by the End of This Month to Avoid Waiting Until Next Year to File

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq.

ImageOn April 1, 2014, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions for H-1B specialty occupation visas.  Approved applications will allow a foreign national to commence employment in the new fiscal new year, which starts on October 1, 2014.  Continue reading

Apply for a Specialty Occupation H1-B Visa by April 1, 2014 to Avoid Waiting Another Year and a Half to Work in the U.S.

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Apply for an H1-B visa by April 1, 2014 to meet USCIS deadlines

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, medicine, and science. Under the H1-B visa, a U.S. company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years (three years initially, plus an additional 3-year extension).  Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the H1-B visa holder with an H-4 visa. Continue reading