Lonnie Hank Robin Attorney at Law

Phone: (817) 870-1450
6211 Airport Freeway • Fort Worth, Texas 76117
lonnie@lonnierobin.com

Lonnie Hank Robin Attorney at Law

Employment Frequently Asked Questions
 

Q.
I originally came to the United States as a student but I have since graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and I would like to work in the United States for the next several years. How can I get employment authorization?

A.
You must begin the process with an employment offer.  In that regard, a prospective employer may file an H-1B petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) to classify you for temporary employment in the USA in a “specialty occupation” provided that your Bachelor’s Degree and proposed employment position qualify under immigration laws. If your prospective employer’s petition is granted, you would be classified in the “H-1B” non-immigrant visa classification and could be authorized to work for as many as six (6) total years.  “Specialty occupation” means an occupation requiring the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform an occupation, and which requires the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree as a minimum requirement to perform the job duties. Specialty occupations include such professionals as engineers, computer professionals, accountants, system analysts, architects, physical therapists, scientists, librarians, market researchers, psychologists, financial analysts, management consultants, and some health care professionals.

Your prospective employer must obtain an approved Labor Condition Application from the United States Department of Labor before filing an H-1B petition. Additionally, if you are in the United States in a non-immigrant status such as an F-1 student, whether or not in your period of optional practical training (“OPT”), you may seek to change your classification from F-1 to H-1B without leaving the United States.  In the alternative, however, you may also apply for an H-1B visa at a United States Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

H-1B visas are subject to an annual quota for each government fiscal year. In that regard, all H-1B visas for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 have been allotted for both traditional specialty occupations and for those H-1B aliens who have attained a Masters Degree or higher from a United States university. Therefore, the USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for new employment for FY2009 beginning April 1, 2008 for employment to begin on or after October 1, 2008 (the first day of FY2009). Employment for certain other specified employers and petitions for present H-1B beneficiaries who desire to extend their present H-1B classification or change employers are not subject to the annual quota.