As October dawns upon us, many employers will be faced with the complexities of the H-1B visa process. In order to alleviate the anxiety and stress associated with this procedure, Visawolf brings you our “H-1B Visas: 3 Facts Employers MUST Know”.
1. What is the earliest an H-1B worker can apply for the new H-1B visa at the US consulate?
The US State Department Foreign Affairs Manual, states that (9 FAM 41.53 N8.4(b)) consular officers are authorized to accept H-B visa petitions and issue visas to qualified applicants up to 90 days in advance of the start date indicated on the approval notice. The officer must inform the visa applicant verbally and in writing that he or she may only use the visa to apply for entry to the United States no more than ten days prior to the H-1B status period indicated on the approval notice. Such visas will be annotated, “Not valid until (ten days prior to the petition validity date.)”
2. Is there a deadline by which an H-1B worker must apply for the visa? Is it ever too late?
No, the H-1B worker can apply for the visa at any time during the validity period of the H-1B approval notice.
However, it will be advantageous to apply for the visa as early as possible. This is because the documentation provided with the H-1B petition will still be fresh at the time the visa applicant goes to the consulate.
If the information in the H-1B petition is not fresh at the time the H-1B candidate goes to the consulate, there is a higher chance that the consulate will ask questions about the job offer and whether the same opportunity exists today as it did when the H-1B petition was filed. More documentation may be required and a lot more time in the visa application process could result.
3. At what point after the H-1B worker enters the United States is the employer required to add him or her to the payroll?
Pursuant to US Department of Labor regulations at 20 CFR § 655.731(c)(6), if the H-1B worker is brought from outside of the U.S., he must be put on the payroll at the time he presents himself for employment or 30 days after arrival in the U.S., whichever comes earlier.
If the foreign national is in the U.S. and a change of status has been applied for, the employment relationship may not commence until the effective date of the change of status. From that date, the employment must commence on the date that the employee presents herself as ready for employment or 60 days after the effective date of the change of status to H-1B, whichever comes earlier.
If the candidate is already in H-1B status with another employer, employment with Sparta can commence as soon as the H-1B petition is filed. Sparta also has the option to delay commencement of employment of the H-1B until the effective date of the H-1B approval notice, or up to 60 days later.
We hope this segment has cleared up any confusion regarding the H-1B visa process. For further inquiries, please respond to this post or contact us directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org