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Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
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Illinois immigration attorneysComing to the United States on an H-1B visa can be challenging. Even if a person meets the qualifications based on their education and specialized knowledge and skills, approval of the visa may still be delayed as a result of the annual cap on H-1B visas that is enforced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, some H-1B applicants qualify for exemptions that can expedite the process. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you understand whether one of these exemptions may apply in your case and ensure that you take the necessary steps to benefit from it.

Who is Exempt From the H-1B Cap?

As of 2021, the annual cap on H-1B visas is 65,000, meaning that if applications are filed on behalf of more than 65,000 people within a fiscal year, many of those applications may be denied, or at least delayed to the following year. However, there is an exemption available if the beneficiary of the application has an advanced degree, meaning a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution in a field relevant to the qualifications for the position in which the beneficiary would be working. An additional 20,000 visas are available for people who qualify for this advanced degree exemption, raising the total amount of annual H-1B visas that may be approved to 85,000.

Additionally, certain kinds of employers are exempt from the cap entirely, meaning that their applications may be approved regardless of how many H-1B visas have already been granted in the year the application is filed. These employers include institutions of higher learning, like colleges and universities, as well as nonprofit and government research organizations.

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IL immigration attorneyThere are many reasons why a person from another country may want to move to the United States, including to care for relatives, obtain a graduate degree, or to find a better occupation. In some cases, though, an individual may be fleeing religious or government persecution. In many cases, life in America can offer them many benefits.

What Is an H-1B Visa?

The U.S. government offers different types of visas for which immigrants can apply if they want to enter the country legally. These include H-1B visas, family-based visas, student visas, employment-based visas, and temporary visas. H-1B visas allow foreign nationals to work in the United States within specialized industries for a temporary period of time. However, applicants must meet specific criteria in order to be eligible for these visas, including a certain level of education.

Upon receiving the H-1B visa, the immigrant can report to work for his or her sponsoring company. After moving to the United States, the employee is allowed to seek employment with a different employer, or transfer to a different company. H-1B visas may be complicated due to certain issues, such as initial approvals and employment transfers. That is why the legal guidance of a skilled immigration lawyer can help ensure a smooth process.

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foreign worker, H-1B Visa rules, Chicago immigration attorneysFor years now, skilled workers have been permitted to immigrate temporarily to the United States under an H-1B visa. While most employment visas permit the holder to take his or her spouse and children along, he or she has not been permitted to obtain employment (with rare exceptions). However, that may soon change, depending on conditional factors.

The H-1B Visa

H-1B visas are non-immigrant employment visas, granted for a term of six years. They are to be used to hire foreign workers when no qualified candidates are available in the United States. They are granted to those of ‘special ability,’ which is essentially the best and brightest.

A worker does not technically apply for an H-1B visa; rather, he or she accepts a job offer from a U.S. employer, who then petitions for the visa for that worker. To qualify, the worker must meet five major criteria:

    • He or she must have an employer-employee relationship with that company, meaning that the company can hire, fire, supervise, or otherwise control that person’s work;

    • He or she must have a job qualified as a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is defined as a job that requires a “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge,” and often mandates at least a bachelor’s degree;

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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

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