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H-1B Visa/Status—Specialty Occupations

Basic Requirements for H-1B Visa/Status:

For individuals who can fill a specialty occupation (more commonly referred to as a professional occupation), H-1B visas/statuses are available. To be eligible for this visa/status, a job offer must already be in place for a position that requires at least a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, the employer offering the position must pay the prevailing wage for the position that is offered to the H-1B applicant.

Annual Cap:

Only 65,000 applicants are granted the H-1B visa/status every fiscal year, which begins for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on the first day of October. With that in mind, H-1B applications may be filed up to six months in advance of the beginning of the USCIS fiscal year, April 1.

In 2007, there were more than double the number of applicants than positions available. On the first day of the USCIS fiscal year in 2008, again, far more applications were received than the available number of H-1B visas/statuses. In both 2007 and 2008, petitions for the H-1B visa/status were selected by lottery. Though there was a significant reduction in the number of petitions in 2009 due to economic slowdown, it is expected that the cap will again become a problem when the economy fully rebounds.

However, it should be noted that not all H-1B visa/status applications are subject to the annual cap. For instance, individuals who already have the H-1B visa/status and are looking to extend their stay will not be counted toward the cap. Additionally, individuals who are employed by some universities, university-affiliated organizations, and non-profit organizations may not be restricted by the cap. Finally, those individuals who hold post-secondary degrees (master’s or better) from an institution in the U.S. will also be subject to a higher cap level.

Duration of H-1B Status:

Initially, the H-1B status is available for up to three years. However, an individual may extend his or her H-1B status up to a total of six years provided the individual’s specialty occupation continues and the employer continues to be capable of compensating the prevailing wage.

Under some circumstances, individuals who hold H-1B status may obtain an extension beyond the sixth year if they hold labor certification (PERM), employment-based permanent residency, or an application for the adjustment of status that has been pending for more than a year. In those cases, H-1B status may be extended one year at a time.

Family Members:

Immediate family members—a spouse and any child who is younger than 21 and unmarried—of the primary beneficiary will be eligible for H-4 derivative status. As such, family members will be allowed to accompany primary beneficiary of the H-1B status into the U.S. Furthermore, anyone holding the H-4 status may attend schools in the U.S.


When applying for the H-1B status, the Austin immigration attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC typically charge the following attorney’s fees when filing in the United States at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (please take a moment to look over this disclaimer), along with the fees currently charged by the USCIS to file an application:

  • $5,000 in attorney’s fees for the principal beneficiary petition ($3,000 for renewals)
  • $460 to pay the filing fee for the main petition with the USCIS
  • $370 to pay the filing fee for the family’s application with the USCIS (when applicable)
  • $750 to pay for the USCIS Data Collection Fee ($1,500 when the hiring company has 25 or more employees)
  • $500 to pay for the USCIS Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee (associated with the initial petition)
  • Approximately $105 to pay for the Degree Evaluation (when experience evaluation is required, the charge will be significantly higher)
  • $1,225 to pay the USCIS filing fee for premium processing (this is optional)

Consult with an Immigration Attorney in Austin:

At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration attorneys are well experienced with the representation of clients applying for the H-1B status. To discuss how we may be of service to you with one of our Austin immigration attorneys, please call our Austin offices at (512) 323-2333 today.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

Robert Scalise
Robert Scalise Jun 03, 2019

When my wife was denied her visa I didn't have time to commit to several consultations. I researched local immigration lawyers and placed my bet on Mr. Jang and his staff. I could not have made a better decision. Every step of the way Mr. Jang went out of his way to ensure that he was delivering... Read More

J A May 22, 2019

Great handle my case promptly.

Nishita Muhnot
Nishita Muhnot Apr 28, 2019

Mr. Jang was very knowledgeable, meticulous and good with his work. I applied to have conditions removed on my green card and it was a tricky case. My case was approved. He always swiftly and patiently answered all my queries. Above all, I found him to be genuinely helpful and a good human being.

JUNSIK Choi Apr 04, 2019

Mr Jang is a great attorney. He worked on my N400 applications and went through all documents very carefully and finally got approved. I really appreciate his efforts for that.

Chunlin Wang
Chunlin Wang Mar 02, 2019

We are totally impressed with Mr. Jang, Ms. Natalia, and the rest of staff. They are honest, knowledgable, and very thorough. We had dealt with the immigration process (years ago) and had experience with immigration attorneys. Mr. Jang clearly stands out. He explains everything in details and set... Read More

Nazini Khader
Nazini Khader Feb 21, 2019

It was great working with Mr.Jang. The whole process was smooth and he paid attention to every minute detail. I would recommend Mr Jang.

Maurice Alexander Clepkens
Maurice Alexander Clepkens Feb 18, 2019

Mr. Jang and his staff were wonderful! I was fairly nervous about the process I was embarking on (adjustment of status), but Mr Jang was very thorough and paid a lot of attention to detail, as well as explaining everything clearly. I can't thank them enough for guiding me to success. And another... Read More

Yanitza Gutierrez
Yanitza Gutierrez Jan 30, 2019

From the start i got told the case was going to be a difficult one and indeed it was. Started in 2012 with DACA and was able to continue renewing DACA, my last renewal was 2019 Jan even though i was fighting to get my Green card not my DACA i still needed something to hack me up incase i got... Read More

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Law Office of William Jang, PLLC Law Office of William Jang, PLLC William Jang
314 E Highland Mall Blvd #406 Austin TX 78752 (512) 323-2333