H1B Visa Lawyer

Trusted and Experienced Employment Based Immigration Attorneys.

For employers, recruiting top-tier professionals from around the world is incredibly important given the global economy we operate in. However, lack of U.S. work authorization is often an obstacle that prevents great candidates from becoming new hires.  At ILG, we have in-depth experience in securing work authorization for professionals in the visa categories such as H-1B, E-2, E-3, L-1, O-1, P, and TN, among others.

Obtaining work authorization is a complex, multi-step process that can be difficult to navigate without expert assistance.   ILG has decades of experience handling sponsorship matters and understands the complexities and nuances involved. Having experienced, persistent, and meticulous representation is even more critical today given the uncertainty surrounding immigration in the U.S.

Contact us today to discuss your current immigration needs.




What Nonimmigrant visa categories are available?

Nonimmigrant visas enable temporary works and visitors to enter the U.S. for a specific period, only for the purpose associated with their nonimmigrant classifications. The most common types of nonimmigrant classifications include:

  • B-1: Enables travelers to enter the U.S. for business activities not including employment, such as trainings, meetings or conferences. The initial period of stay is 1 to 6 months. Eligible travelers may forego applying for the B-1 visa if they are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA).
  • E-3: Enables citizens of Australia to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation position with a U.S. employer, meaning the role requires the U.S. equivalent of a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. E-3 applications may be applied for directly at a consulate abroad with an approved Labor Condition Application. Workers may stay for an initial period of 2 years with indefinite extension.
  • H-1B: The most common temporary employment visa, the H-1B allows workers to fill specialty occupation positions for a maximum period of 6 years. Positions must meet wage requirements outlined in a Labor Condition Application, The number of new H-1B workers is restricted to 85,000 per year (20,000 for U.S. Masters; 65,000 for bachelors). In most cases, the amount of applicants exceeds this number, requiring a random selection during the first week of April each year.
  • H-1B1: This category has qualification criteria similar to the H-1B, however this category is limited to applicants from Singapore or Chile. 6,800 visas within the 65,000 H-1B numerical limit are reserved for H-1B1 applicants, and unused spots are rolled over to the following year. Applicants may apply directly for a visa at a consulate or apply through USCIS, and may apply at any time, not just during the first week of April. H-1B1 workers are authorized to work for indefinite 1 year periods, but are not allowed to possess the intent to seek permanent residency.
  • L-1: The L-1 visa enables organizations to transfer employees from a foreign officer to a U.S. office to work in an executive or managerial role (L-1A) for up to 7 years, or a role which requires specialized or advanced knowledge (L-1B) for up to 5 years. Employees must have worked abroad for a  foreign parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch office for at least one year. Individual cases are filed with USCIS, but employers with three or more foreign and domestic offices, a substantial workforce, or annual U.S. sales of at least $25 million may request a blanket approval from USCIS, allowing employees to apply for an L-1 visa directly with a consulate.
  • O-1: Enables individuals who possess extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics (O-1A) or the arts, motion picture, or television industries (O-1B) enter to enter the U.S. for an initial period of 3 years, with 1 year of extensions as deemed necessary to accomplish the initial event or activity. The O-1 requires an advisory opinion for a peer group or labor organization, if one exists. The O-1 requires an offer of employment, or in the case of sponsorship by an agent, an itinerary evidence of events and activities for the requested period.
  • TN: Enables citizens of Canada or Mexico to enter the U.S. for temporary employment in a specific occupation if they meet the requirements of that occupation.  Citizens of Canada may apply directly at a port of entry and do not require a visa stamp. Citizens of Mexico must obtain a visa stamp before entering the U.S. Initial periods of stay are granted up to 3 years, and indefinite extensions are allowed.

This list in not comprehensive and only contains general information. Additional requirements may apply. You may also be eligible for another type of visa that is not listed here.

How long can I stay in temporary status?

Your length of stay depends on which type of non immigrant visa classification you have. In some cases, when a maximum period of stay is associated with the visa, you may recapture time spent outside of the U.S. to extend your authorized period of stay. Your length of stay may also be shortened due to the expiration of your passport or the limited period of time USCIS believes your services are actually needed. In any case, your I-94 date of expiration controls how long you may stay in the U.S., not the expiration date of your visa stamp or the I-797 approval notice.

What happens if I lose my job?

If you are in H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1, TN or E nonimmigrant status and your employment is terminated before the expiration of your authorized period of stay, you are allowed one grace period up to 60 days during each validity period to extend, change, or otherwise maintain status. No work authorization is granted during this period. If you are not eligible for the grace period, you should exit the U.S. immediately. Failure to maintain status could make subsequent visa applications and adjustment of status applications difficult. If you accrue more than 180 days of unlawful presence, you may be subject to a 3 year bar from re-entering the U.S. Unlawful presence of more than 1 year can result in a 10 year bar.

Can my family members accompany me to the U.S.?

Yes. Immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) may accompany you in dependent status.  Their stay is controlled by your (the principal applicant’s) maintenance of status. Some visa types allow spouses to apply for employment authorization, such as the E-2, E-3, H-1B, and L-1.

Can I apply for a green card?

Yes, however you should consider the requirements of your nonimmigrant visa status. Some nonimmigrant visas allow dual intent, meaning you may intend to seek temporary employment and permanent residency at the same time. The H-1B and L-1 allow dual intent. If you have a pending or approved I-140 or I-485 petition, your ability to travel on an H-1B or L-1 visa during this period will not impact these applications. On the contrary, if you are on a visa which does not allow dual intent, subsequent applications for a nonimmigrant visa, or an extension of temporary status, may be denied if you have a pending or approved I-140 or pending I-485. Further, if you need to travel internationally while your I-485 is pending, your application is considered abandoned if you exit the U.S. without first being granted advance parole.

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