Startups are asking this more and more. Provided a summary below, but, generally, the more legitimate you can make your company look, the more successful you will be at getting an H1B for a foreign employee. So if you have enough money in the bank to support the employee's salary AND support the business (i.e. you won't go bust next month) then these are typically sufficient, but there will be a number of items you need to assemble to show the viability of your business. If you have $1M in the bank, then you obviously have less worries. If you need help with H1B visas (or other types of visas) you should come check us out atWe have helped many many startups get their immigration issues (for both founders and employees) figured out fast and cost-effectively. Depending on the situation you can typically get H1Bs handles for $2500 - $5000. A lot of that is wrapped up in the hefty government filing fees. If I can personally help out, let me know - we love helping fellow startups. An H-1B visa is the most common way for employers to sponsor professional workers in the U.S. In order to qualify for this sponsorship, the employee must hold a position that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in that field. Once obtained, an H-1B visa allows its bearer to stay and work in the U.S. legally for up to three years. After those three years, the visa can be renewed for up to six total years. How to Petition for an H-1B Visa From an employer perspective, H-1B eligibility is much more complex. The employer must file the petition for the visa on behalf of the employee, who is not allowed to self-petition. Every company, regardless of size or age, must petition for one of the 65,000 H-1B visas that are made available every April 1st by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Note that 6,800 of those visas are set aside, per trade agreements, for immigrants from Singapore and Chile. An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are made available for workers with advanced degrees, meaning a master’s degree or above. Usually, more applications are filed than visas are available within the first week of April, meaning that the fate of the employee’s visa rests in the hands of an annual lottery. For startups, the challenges of obtaining an H-1B visa hardly stop there. First, before even filing an initial petition, every company must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor. The LCA is a series of statements that attest to the fact that hiring the H-1B employee will not adversely affect any U.S. citizen workers. This includes statements that:
- the employee will be paid the prevailing wage for a worker in that position,
- the employee will receive the same benefits as other workers in that position,
- the employee will not negatively affect working conditions of other employees, and
- there is no active labor dispute or work stoppage in place at the time of hiring the employee.