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New Orleans H-1 Visa Lawyers

Helping skilled workers obtain visas in New Orleans and Slidell

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

H-1 visas help American employers bring foreign workers with special skills to the New Orleans region and other parts of the country. There are other visas (H-2 and H-3) that are used for agricultural workers, non-agricultural jobs, and nonimmigrant trainees. H-1B visas are very popular temporary work visas. They’re so popular, in fact, the government puts caps on the number of eligible H-1B visas.

At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers help workers, families, and others obtain temporary visas, green cards, and other immigrant rights. We work with New Orleans employers who need help, and foreign workers who want to gain admittance to work in the United States. We’ll explain the requirements for the visas, how the caps work, what H-1 visa holders can do while they are in the United States, and when they must leave or request an adjustment of status.

What are the eligibility requirements for an H-1B visa?

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

H-1B. Specialty Occupations. The job requires:

  • Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.
  • Attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

The position must also meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the particular position.
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or, in the alternative, the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

Additionally, the applicant must meet one of the following conditions to perform work in the US:

  • Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
  • Have education, specialized training, and/or progressively responsible experience that is equivalent to the completion of a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

H-1B visas are generally good for three years and can be renewed. Normally, the US employer files the petition for the H-1 visa for the worker (also known as the “beneficiary”).

What are the special ability requirements for an H-1B2 visa?

H-1B2. DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker. This job also requires a bachelor’s or higher degree (or the equivalent). The petition must include:

  • A verification letter from the DOD project manager for the particular project stating that the beneficiary will be working on a cooperative research and development project or a coproduction project under a reciprocal Government-to-Government agreement administered by DOD. Details about the specific project are not required.
  • A general description of the beneficiary's duties on the particular project and the actual dates of the beneficiary's employment on the project.
  • A statement indicating the names of noncitizens currently employed on the project in the United States and their dates of employment and the names of noncitizens whose employment on the project ended within the past year.

There are additional requirements that are the same as those for the H-1B visa, but you must also have a qualifying US degree, a qualifying foreign degree, the proper license or certification to perform the job duties in the US, or equivalent experience.


What is the Labor Condition Application?

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has more specific eligibility requirements, including the Labor Condition Application (LCA):

H-1B. Specialty Occupations. These visas require a Form ETA-9035/9035E, Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by the Department of Labor (DOL), with Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

H-1B2. DOD Researcher and Development Project Work. No labor certification is required.

H-1B3. Fashion Model. The prospective petitioner must include a Form ETA-9035/9035E, LCA certified by the Department of Labor (DOL), with Form I-129.

The LCA requires that the employer or agent attest that the employee will be paid the prevailing wages for the job in the New Orleans region, that the working conditions won’t adversely affect other similarly employed workers, that there is no strike or lockout at the time of the LCA filing, and that “notice of the filing of the labor condition application with the DOL has been given to the union bargaining representative or has been posted at the place of employment.”

What is the petition filing process for H-1B visa applicants in New Orleans?

The steps vary depending on the type of work. Our New Orleans H-1B visa lawyers will explain the requirements, help you complete the requirements, help you provide the documentation needed to support your application, and arrange to file the necessary forms for you.

  • First step. This is for specialty occupation work and fashion model work. The employer or agent must submit the LCA to the US Department of Labor for certification.
  • Second step. For all H-1B work categories. The employer or agent submits Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker to USCIS.
  • Third step. After the Form I-129 petition is approved, the foreign worker applies for an H-1B visa at a US embassy or a consular office. If the H-1B visa is approved, the worker will still have to apply to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for admission to the United States.

How does the H-1B cap affect visa applicants in New Orleans?

The USCIS states that there is a cap in the amount of 65,000 new H-1B visas each year. Another 20,000 petitions can be filed if the beneficiary has a master’s degree or a higher degree from a US institution. Some workers are not included in the cap, such as workers at “an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities, a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization.”

What additional H-1B visa issues do you handle?

At the Law Office of James A. Graham, we represent all types of employers who need foreign workers including sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations.

We’ll explain when and how employees can change employers after their initial job.

Generally, the applicant’s spouse and children (if they are not married and under 21) may seek admission by using the H-4 visa process.

Do you have an H-1B visa lawyer near me?

The Law Office of James A. Graham has two offices  located in South Louisiana:

For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.

Speak with our skilled New Orleans H-1B visa lawyers today

Many employers need skilled workers. While Louisiana has some great schools and employees, many businesses need to look abroad for the workers they need. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our immigration lawyers help local employers bring educated workers to New Orleans and Slidell. To discuss how we can help your company navigate H-1B immigration laws, call us or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.