Obtaining Critical H-1B Foreign Worker Visas

Individuals are not allowed to apply for H-1B visas. These visas can only be obtained when an employer petitions the USCIS for their entry into the U.S. Duration of stay is three to six years, with some exceptions.

Every year, U.S. businesses bring in 65,000 specialty occupation workers under the H1-B. This cap of 65,000 does not apply to people with advanced education, who work at universities or research facilities or contract with them to do work.

The H-1B, though technically a nonimmigrant visa, provides for the possibility of obtaining a green card while the visa is still in effect.

Employers need to know that if they terminate an H-1B holder before the expiration date of the visa, the employer must pay travel costs back to the employee's place of last residence outside the U.S.

The H-1B Visa Versus The L-1 Visa

L-1 visas are another form of foreign worker visa. There is no set limit to the number of higher-level transferees that can be brought into the U.S. per year under the L-1 — unlike the H-1B. The L-1 intracompany transferees' visa petition must be filed by the foreign or multinational company where the alien has worked as manager or executive or performed work requiring advanced knowledge. The L-1 is not an option for Dallas businesses unless they have locations outside the U.S.

Responsibilities Of the Visa Holder

So long as you are in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, you are expected to model good ethics and behavior:

  • Never present deceptive or fraudulent documentation.
  • Avoid employers you know are in violation of H-1B visa requirements.
  • If you experience or witness violations of your rights or of other foreign workers, you must report it.

The rules governing H-1B visas are complex, like everything else in immigration law. Our Dallas, Texas, attorneys can help you find answers and get the results you need.


Harrison-Donaldson, Attorney at Law, means personal attention, reasonable fees and effectiveness working a difficult immigration system. Call our lawyers at 972-746-2314, or describe your upcoming business needs by email.

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