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Immigration Blog

Immigration Blog

The Immigration attorneys at Chamberlain Hrdlicka have considerable experience handling the entire spectrum of immigration matters for individuals, families and businesses both in the U.S. and abroad. We have represented clients in all parts of the United States and in more than 100 countries.

We have represented companies and non-profit organizations both in the U.S. and abroad in obtaining U.S. immigrant and non-immigrant visas through the employment, business and investment categories, as well as in U.S. citizenship matters. Additional expertise includes employment cases, labor certifications and consular work.

For individuals, we have handled a wide range of immigration matters including visa processing, naturalizations and defense of removal (deportation) cases. And with support from the Tax Planning group, have assisted in pre-immigration tax planning.

While the constant change in U.S. immigration laws presents challenges for many in this area of work, we are at the forefront of this rapidly changing field of law. As members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and founding members of IMMLAW, Chamberlain’s immigration team actively participates in the exchange of ideas and information in emerging areas so that our clients can benefit from the most innovative techniques in the ever-changing immigration environment.

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Transitioning an Employee from Optional Practical Training to H-1B Visa Program

Is your foreign-born employee currently on an OPT (Optional Practical Training) as part of an internship under an F-1 student visa? Do you value their contributions to the company and want to continue employing them?  Are you wondering what your options are once their OPT comes to an end? One of the most common visas to apply for is the H-1B visa. Let me walk you through the application process.

Once you decided to move forward with the H-1B process, you should immediately consult an attorney to make some key assessments.  The attorney will help determine whether the employee qualifies for the H-1B visa and whether another visa may be more appropriate. Qualifying for the H-1B visa is important because the employment must be what is called a “specialty” occupation, which requires a bachelor’s degree or higher. The employment must also entail the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.  Some examples of H-1B jobs include accountants, computer programmers, teachers and marketing analysts. 

If you’re satisfied that the above conditions are met, you and your attorney are ready to begin the visa application process. First, you must complete the registration process for the H-1B during the open enrollment period, which typically takes place in March.  The registration process allows you to sign up for the H-1B lottery. Due to the limited number of visas each year, only a select number of registrants can actually submit their application. Once selected, your attorney will file the appropriate immigration forms, making sure your petition fully addresses all the Immigration Services requirements.  If successful, the H-1B visa will be granted and your employee will continue working with your company.       

As you navigate the process, especially for the first time, hiring the right immigration attorney is key. Be sure the attorney is responsive and available to answer any questions.  It’s vital they have experience in H-1B visa applications and will make sure you’re in compliance with the appropriate Department of Labor regulations. This will prevent you from making unnecessary errors that might not only result in a rejected application but also being sanctioned by the Department of Labor or found to have made misrepresentations to the Immigration Services.

At Chamberlain Hrdlicka, we’re very experienced with H-1B visa petitions and are available to answer any questions as you journey through the process. Call our office with your H-1B questions today.

  • Kisshia  Simmons
    Senior Associate

    Kisshia Simmons is an Immigration practitioner with over 15 years of experience.

    Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Simmons was a Founder and Partner with Simmons Grant, PLLC, a law firm in New York city. Ms. Simmons has represented small ...