H-1B cap doesn’t have to be stressful. Have a great cap season with these best practices.
In a previous post, we explained why it’s best to start preparing your H-1B cap petitions now. So, let’s get started. First, it’s important to understand the structure of the process, which includes gathering documentation, filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA) and sending the completed petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While there are not many steps involved, there are smart ways to approach the process to guarantee the best experience for yourself, your employee and your organization.
Write an accurate H-1B cap job description
Oftentimes, the standard posting submitted to job boards isn’t sufficient to meet H-1B requirements of an eligible specialty occupation. As defined, the role must require the individual to have at least a bachelor’s degree, or its foreign equivalent, in a select field.
USCIS will need to see proof in writing, in the form of a well-written job description, that the position requires a four-year college degree in order to function well within your organization. Failing to do so may result in a Request for Evidence notice, where the agency asks for additional information before they can process the petition.
Plan time for ample document sourcing
Do you know how you’ll source the proper documentation to satisfy the H-1B cap petition requirements? Envoy has prepared H-1B cap petitions for nearly 20 years and knows crafting a quality cap petition involves generating lots of documentation.
Types of documents:
- Company: marketing materials, job description, salary information and tax returns
- Immigration: previous approval notices, passport and arrival/departure records
- Education: resume, diploma, education evaluation and experience evaluation
Plan a couple months for document procurement. Seem like a long time? It depends on your organization’s ability to gather the right evidence and how long your employee takes to generate his or her documents. Plus, if the diploma is in a foreign language, you’ll need a professional translation. And you might also need to get an education or experience evaluation if the individual’s program doesn’t match U.S. degree program formats.
Sign up for our H-1B Cap Season Success Series.
Adhere to strict reporting practices
As an employer, USCIS and the Department of Labor can conduct surprise site visits or audit your records at any time. Engaging in immigration practices may place additional scrutiny on your company. However, two factors can protect you during inspections and audits:
- Working with the right immigration services provider to ensure you’re obtaining the proper work authorization.
- Developing a culture of smart reporting practices that allows you to easily produce proof of compliance whenever you’re asked.
Keep track of rate of pay, all approval notices, information denoting what office the individual works in and other official documents. It’s also helpful if you have an automated system that archives documentation so everything is easy to find and stored in a secure location.
Support your employees’ needs throughout the entire H-1B cap petition process
Set expectations at the onset. What role would you like your employee to have in the petition process? Do you want to allow your employees direct communication with, and grant them the ability to submit documents to, the immigration services provider? This not only adds efficiency to the process — since you’ll no longer be serving as the middle man — it gives visibility to the employee. The immigration process is stressful for many applicants, and the more they track their cap petition prep requirements and case statuses, the more they’ll feel content throughout the experience and satisfied with your organization.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.