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Immigration Issues/H1B (Cap-Exempt) visa

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Question
Hello there:

I am currently in OPT (valid from August 1st 2009 to July 31st 2010), working as a "Research Associate" for a University. My current employer is promoting me to "Senior Research Associate" on May 15th 2010 and they are willing to file my H1B1 (cap exempt) visa.

Questions:
1) Can my employer (university) file my H1B1 visa before I get inducted to the new post on May 15th? If not, should I be working for a certain period of time in this new post and then my university applies for the visa?

2) Ideally by when should the university file my cap-exempt H1B1 visa (without premium processing) for the new post?

3) On an average, how long (duration) does it take to get H1B1 visa approved (without the premium processing)?

4)If my H1B1 visa gets approved on June 1st, will that be the start date of my resident status (like October 1st for H1B holders) or whether the start date would be August 1st 2010 (the day after my OPT expires)? Also, can the employer withhold social security/medicare taxes (which are not deducted during OPT) from my salary for June and July 2010?

I really appreciate your time.

Thanks
Srikant

Answer
Hi Srikant,

Your employer can file an H1B petition anytime, as this is a cap-exempt case due to employment by university. Your current title under OPT has no bearing on when the H1B can be filed, and the H1B can be filed before your assignment to the new post as well.

In our experience the USCIS in non-premium processing cases takes between 2 and 3 months for adjudication of H1B petition.

Your employer will probably request start date of August 01 (or earlier) when filing H1B petition. Please discuss tax withholding issues with your employer.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.H1B1.com

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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