What does an employer need to do in order to sponsor an individual for H-1B status?

Original Author: Maria Aquila

After an employment offer is made and accepted by the foreign national, the process of obtaining H-1B visa status can begin. An individual can apply for H-1B visa status six months prior to the commencement of the employment petitioned, but no earlier.

This petition requires an employment offer from a US company, as well as a Labor Condition Application (LCA), verifying that the individual is being paid at least the prevailing wage. Once an LCA is obtained, an employer must file the H-1B petition. It may take anywhere from 15 days (if premium processed) to four months to process the H-1B petition.

There are only 65,000 new H-1B visas available each year. However, there are an additional 20,000 H-1B visas available to foreign nationals holding a master's degree or higher from a US university.