The April 2nd date is looming ahead and H1-B dependent employers are furiously working to make a strong case for each of their H1-B petitioners. This time over, it is particularly emphatic since the US administration has tightened the regulations. With the total number of visa applications still expected to be surging much more than the 85,000 cap but Premium Processing going to be delayed, the dreaded Request for Evidence or RFEs, as they are popularly referred to as will also increase causing further delays. With the scrutiny so severe, it is imperative that all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.
What should you expect as a H1-B visa petitioner this time? What can you do to make a strong case for a H1-B petition this year? Besides keeping your fingers crossed, there are a few things to keep in mind when filing for a H1-B visa petition for fiscal year 2019 –
- Applications cannot be filed more than six months before the employment start date.
- Always mention a date when the employment will start. Vague references to the start date will induce rejections.
- Since H1-B work visa are issued to specialty occupations, the petition should clearly detail the petitioner’s qualifications for the said job. This should comply with labor condition application requirements.
- All salary details should be outlined which in turn should coincide with the expectations laid out by USCIS in the job description. Paying a lower salary will raise eye-brows and lead to rejections.
- The H1-B application should detail out all itineraries and cover exact dates, names and addresses of intermediary vendors and end-clients as well as exact addresses and phone numbers of work locations.
- The petition should have detailed descriptions of the actual work assignment. This should be supported with technical documentation like milestone tables, marketing analysis, cost-benefit analysis, brochures, and funding documents.
- Attach copies of detailed statements of work or work orders or a letter signed by an authorized official of the client company.
- Other supporting documents should include a letter from the client if and where the visa holder will perform his duties. Third party worksite contracts are on the radar. This letter should be specific and cover the detailed description of the specialized duties, the duration of the job, salary or wages paid, hours worked, benefits, and information about who will supervise the H-1B employee.
- Supply all signed contracts with the end-client and all other companies involved in the H-1B worker’s assignment.
- There should be evidence of a continued relationship maintained between the employer and the worker. If the worker is contracted at a third-party worksite, the client-employee relationship will be scrutinized in depth.
- Lastly, resist a poorly drafted or overly broad end-client letter. This will lead to further scrutiny. Therefore, make it detailed but to the point with evidence along every step of the way.
Although these act as basic guidelines, it is important that the employer or lawyer filing the petition doesn’t fall short in terms of the documentation, both official as well as evidentiary. The expectations laid out by the USCIS should be met without holding back since they are expected to go through each application with a fine-toothed comb.