How to sponsor an employee for an H-1B visa

On Behalf of | May 26, 2024 | Employment Immigration |

In 2023, applications for the H-1B visa increased by 61% to 780,884. This number far exceeds the visa program’s annual cap of 85,000, highlighting the intense competition for global talents seeking to enter the U.S. for work.

Through the H-1B visa program, U.S. businesses can hire foreign professionals for a maximum of six years to fill roles that require specialized knowledge. As an employer sponsoring an employee seeking an H-1B visa, understanding your role is crucial to ensure compliance with immigration laws.

Initiating the sponsorship process

Before filing the H-1B petition, you must submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor. This document certifies that you will pay the worker at least the prevailing wage for the position and ensures that the job conditions are comparable to those of similarly employed U.S. workers.

After the LCA certification, you can file Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition includes detailed information about your company, the job position and the prospective employee.

Handling requests for evidence

During the H-1B petition process, there could be instances when you receive a request for evidence from the USCIS. It is important to respond promptly to this request to avoid denial. Gathering and organizing all the necessary documents in advance can significantly help.

Provide a supportive work environment

Beyond legal compliance, providing a supporting work environment for your H-1B employee is essential in helping them thrive in the United States. Throughout the visa’s duration, your role will include understanding their unique challenges and offering resources to help them adjust to a new job in a new country. Encouraging a welcoming workplace culture and being mindful of cultural differences can significantly enhance their experience and productivity.

As an employer, understanding your responsibilities during the visa process not only ensures legal compliance but also fosters a positive working relationship with your international talent.


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