Getting an H-1B Visa: Do You Need an Immigration Lawyer?

Immigration Lawyer Deciding whether to hire an immigration lawyer to aid you in obtaining an H-1B visa? First off, you should know that the H-1B visa classification could be pursued by foreign workers who want to work in the United States for U.S. employers temporarily.

Although having an H-1B visa comes with many advantages, it may note be right for everyone so it is recommended that you get help from a lawyer or adviser to determine if you’re eligible for an H-1 visa or if you should pursue another visa classification.

Why You Might Need Help from an Immigration Attorney

Note that an H-1B visa doesn’t equal immigrant status. However, once you’ve been granted an H-1B status, you may be qualified to apply for immigrant status or a green card, while still working in the United States.

If you’ve been granted an H-1B-eligible status, an immigration lawyer can help you strategize an immigration plan that can save you many years of waiting and enable you to continue working in the U.S. while waiting for your application, if your endgame is to obtain a green card.

In addition, even if you’ve already been granted an H-1B visa without the help of an attorney, it’s a good idea to still get one if you’re approaching the maximum allowable stay on an H-1 visa (Salt Lake City attorneys peg this at six years). Once your six years are up, you must leave the country for a year prior to entering the U.S. again.

The laws regarding this are complex and include provisions that are time-sensitive. Having help from an immigration lawyer will help in ensuring that you won’t miss any opportunities on extending your H-1 visa status.

Other Issues an Immigration Attorney Can Help You with

Aside from the main issues above, you also have to prepare for the following:

  • Visa Fees: H-1B visa application fees vary from one employer to another. An attorney can confirm the proper fees applicable to your case.
  • H-1B Cap: A attorney can help in determining if you’re subject to the 65,000 limit issued every fiscal year.
  • J-1: If you were granted a J-1 status before, you may have extra issues that must be communicated with an immigration attorney.

Consulting an immigration lawyer is your best bet in the complex world of immigration laws in the United States.