H-1B Mistakes

AVOID THESE TOP 5 MISTAKES DURING YOUR H-1B APPLICATION PROCESS

April 1, 2018, is the first day to submit an H-1B application for a start date of October 1, 2018. Planning starts early (usually in the fall) because the visas run out within days, making this program a lottery, of sorts. Mistakes during the application process can therefore be costly. Read on to find out how to avoid the top 5.

  1. INADEQUATE EMPLOYER LETTER IN SUPPORT OF APPLICATION

The employer letter in support of the application often fails to state what the company does, what the prospective H-1B employee will do, and how the prospective H-1B employee’s duties will contribute to the company’s bottom line and how the position fits within the organizational goals and profitability plans of the company.

  1. 2. NO MENTION OF SPECIALIZED DUTIES

The H-1B visa is for specialty workers. That means, the position must require specialized skills and the prospective employee must possess those skills. If the application does not adequately explain why the duties of the position require specialized skills and how the person to be sponsored possesses those skills, the application will be denied.

  1. NOT ADDRESSING DEGREE REQUIREMENT

This visa category mandates that the position offered requires a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent. Therefore, the application must demonstrate that the job duties cannot be performed by someone with less than a baccalaureate degree. The employer letter must address nuances of the position that would justify this aspect of the case. It is a good idea to research beforehand, the statistics on the required preparation for the occupation.

  1. MAKING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE DEGREE REQUIRED

We are back to the degree requirement because it is that important. Do not presume that all degrees are equal. A degree in Business Administration is not the same as a degree in Finance, even though they are related degrees.  Therefore, unless a degree is recognized, based on past agency decisions, as being the key to entry in the specialized profession at issue, you must make your case that it is. This is where research and adequate documentation becomes a necessity.

  1. LACK OF DOCUMENTATION ON ABILITY TO PAY REQUIRED WAGE

As part of the application process, the employer must show it can pay the required wage.  The wage is set by the Department of Labor or the employer can provide an eligible wage survey for the position. But, it doesn’t stop there. The employer must provide documentation that it can pay the prevailing wage.  Those documents include profits shown on the company’s tax return, savings account statement, or an available line of credit that is sufficient to cover the H-1B employee's salary.  If the employee will generate income, which would be used to cover the salary costs, that must be noted and documented in the application materials.

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