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Immigration Issues/F2 To H1B : US Visa Change Process

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Question
Hi,
 My wife is currently on a dependent US visa (F2), and she just got a job offer from a non-profit organization in a specialist role (as a woman's right counselor). She has a double masters - one from India and the other from Netherlands. I understand that her employer has to do her H1B (work visa) petition. Can you tell me how long will the H1B processing take and what are the steps? If her normal H1B takes some time, then can the process be expedited in any way? Are their any other options she can avail of to start working soon?

Thanks,
Ankur.

Answer
Hi,

Your wife is dependent upon her employer filing an H1B petition with the USCIS. If the organization is cap-exempt (normally a non-profit must be a research organization, or somehow associated with an institute of higher education in order to be exempt) then the petition can be filed now. It typically takes 3 to 4 months for approval, but the employer can file through premium processing whereby the USCIS will make a decision within 15 days of filing in exchange for additional filing fee of $1,225 payable to Department of Homeland Security by any check (employer, beneficiary, or third-party).

If the organization is not cap-exempt, the earliest that the H1B petition can be filed is April 01, 2011 with employment start date no earlier than Oct. 01, 2011: http://www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count

Your wife will require a credentials evaluation by an independent evaluator equating her foreign degrees to the U.S. equivalent. H1B appears to be the only realistic option at this time for employment.

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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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