Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions on Immigration

We have assembled these frequently asked questions on various immigration issues for your perusal. This compilation consists of questions asked by our clients as well as answers to questions we think you might want to ask.

Professional Worker visa – H-1B1

What qualifications does an H-1B1 applicant require?

An applicant for an offered position must have, at the time of filing, a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specialized field.

How many H-1B1 visas are available and when?

Annual limit on H-1B1 applications – also known as the H1B Cap – is set 65000 by the US congress for those candidates with bachelor’s degrees. There is an additional 20, 000 for those with masters or higher degrees from US colleges. The allocation becomes available each year on October 1st – the beginning of the fiscal year. The USCIS accepts applications for these visas 6 months prior to the start date i.e. April 1. As we have observed in recent years, the demand for the visas has out-paced the allocation and we urge all our current as well as potential clients to start the application process in December to ensure that their cases are filed in time for the April 1 deadline.

Why are there differences in the time taken to process H-1B1 visa applications?

The time taken to process an H-1B1 application (even if the visas were filed at the same time) differ depending on the USCIS center processing the application as well the workload of the USCIS officer handling the application. There is nothing that our law offices can do to influence this process.

My spouse is here on an H4 Visa, can she work in the United States?

The spouse on an H4 petition cannot legally work in the United States. The spouse must apply for an H-1B1 petition (or other suitable work related visa) and can commence work on the date that the petition is approved.

How long can I stay in the US on an H-1B status?

Generally, a person can work in the United States on an H-1B1 status for up to six years – the initial approval is given for three years which can be subsequently extended by another 3 years with an extension of stay being filed. If the applicant wishes to stay in the United States beyond the 6 years then a labor certification must be filed for the applicant 365 days prior the time limit of 6 years expires and if there is an approved I-140 visa petition on behalf of the applicant and there is no immigrant visa number availability for the applicant to apply for legal permanent residency.

Inter-Company Transfer L-1 visa

How can a company transfer employees to United States?

In order to transfer company to transfer its employee to their offices in the United States, there are certain conditions which must be met, namely:

Who qualifies as L-1 candidate?

Inter-company transferees must be executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge. Irrespective of the job classification, the employee must have been employed at the employer’s foreign location for at least one year within the 3 years preceding the time of application. Executives and managers who meet the requirements can transfer to US on an L1A whereas a specialist can transfer on an L1B visa.

How Long can an L-1 employee stay in the United States?

If the L-1 candidate is a manager, they can remain in the United States for up to seven years. If the employee is a specialist, then they are permitted to stay up to five years. If the employment is seasonal or intermittent, then the employee may stay for an aggregate of 6 months or less per year.

What visas are available for spouses/children of L-1 applicant?

The spouse of a transferee or unmarried children over 21 years of age may be granted L-2 visas. A spouse of L-1 visa holder may apply for a work authorization – other L-2 visa holders are permitted to attend school, but are not allowed to work in the Unites States.

I have heard that a company can file for blanket L1s, what is a blanket L1?

A blanket L1 can be filed by companies which meet the following basic requirements:

Approved blanket L1 petitions shortens the processing times considerably as documents can be filed at an US consulate overseas for an L1 visa. Employers do not have to prove eligibility each time and no additional processing at USCIS is required for individual L1 cases.

Entertainers, Athletes and Persons with Extraordinary Ability – O & P visa

Who qualifies for an O visa?

As the name suggests, the O visa is primarily for highly talented people who may not otherwise qualify under the other visa classifications, namely H, L or J visas. The applicant must meet the following requirements:

Professions that fall into O visa category are artists, athletes, entertainers, Chefs and business people without formal qualifications.

How long can an O-visa holder stay in the United States?

The O visa holder cannot stay in the United States for longer than 3 years. Further extension may be available.

What does extraordinary ability mean?

The field of business, education, science or athletics, it means that the applicant is a member of a small group that has risen to the very top in their respective field. In the case of arts, it means that the petitioner has reached a high level of distinction and they are referred to as “renowned”, “leading” or “well known” in the field of arts.

What is P Visa?

The P visa is a category of visas available for groups of athletes or entertainment groups who plan to be in United States temporarily. Dependents of a P visa holder can also obtain a P visa but cannot legally work while in the United States.

 If you plan on attending a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys, in person, please see the Directions to our Office

Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington St #2600, Boston, MA 02108
(617) 367-6750

Client Testimonials

Star Icon

“Thank you so much for all of the hard work you have put in to the process of helping me become a permanent resident. This has been a long journey that has been challenging at times. It has taken 6 years, 3 jobs, 2 states, 2 renewals of my H1-B, multiple trips to embassies/consulates in…

Read More
AG A Greig
Star Icon

“First to say – i finally received a green card with these guys help! Everyone working at this law office is very knowledgeable and responsive. I have been working with them through my employer and it has been several years. My H1B was approved through this law office as well. I recommend anyone who is…

Read More posted on Logo
S Shin K.
Star Icon

“It is recommended that one should have an immigration lawyer handy. I recommend that this attorney be Trupti Patel. My case was not straightforward and they were very helpful. They get a lot of referrals and very busy but always available when you need them. I found them very knowledgeable about all types of immigration…

Read More posted on Logo
H Harvik R.
Star Icon

We are extremely happy with the Trupti N. Patel & Associates services, and it has been almost ten years that we have been working with Attorney Patel and her staff for all our US non-immigrant visa and immigration requirements and they consistently provide us with outstanding value. Their fees are extremely competitive, yet they offer…

Read More posted on Logo
V Vishrut Shah
Star Icon

Trupti Patel associates are the best professional law firm and highly knowledgeable staff. Really appreciate the patience and empathy presented by Trupti and AnnMarie during all stages / scenarios they handle on each case. Highly recommend Trupti Patel associates if you want prompt, trusted and knowledgeable team to address any visa cases. Thank you.

Read More posted on Logo
N Nandan Chandrashekar
Star Icon

The team at TNP does a good job gauging the client’s needs and attending to them. I have had a fair share of ups and down with the defunct legal immigration process here in America and the TNP team has helped me navigate the same. I would particularly like to recommend legal assistant Ms. AnnMarie…

Read More posted on Logo
R Rahulraju Rudraraju Murali
Read All Testimonials
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of more than 16,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Bagde Logo
The American Bar Association is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. The mission of the ABA is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence, and respect for the law. Bagde Logo finds and reviews the top service professionals in over 200 industries across the U.S. Each month, we research more than 60,000 businesses to help customers find the best-qualified professional for their needs. Bagde Logo
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a private organization that provides the public with information on businesses and charities. Bagde Logo
The Women's Bar Association (WA) of Massachusetts has over 1500 members and was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1978 with a goal to achieve the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession and in a just society. Bagde Logo
Boston Bar Association is dedicated to advancing the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitating access to justice, fostering a diverse and inclusive professional community, and serving our city. Bagde Logo
The Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) is non-profit organization that serves the legal profession and the public by promoting the administration of justice, legal education, professional excellence, and respect for the law. Bagde Logo