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    H1/B1 working Visa

    I may have to relocate to Seattle since the tech market is much stronger there as compare to Vancouver. In order to work with a tech company, I'll require an H1 visa since I am not a Canadian citizen yet and consequently can't get N1.

    How long does it take usually to process H1 after receiving an offer from a company. Have there been any changes in regulations recently, apart from security screening, with regards to H1. Basically, what does it take nowadays to get H1, and is it a simple process which can be dealt within couple of weeks ..I appreciate any kind of input.

    #2
    Abdullah, Is this H1-Visa some kind of temporary visa for persons with specialized knowledge ?
    I am asking cos I found this link here below.
    http://travel.state.gov/visa;tempwkr.html

    otherwise I don't have any knowledge sorry.

    Comment


      #3
      Abdullah Bhai,

      It depends on the company and how bad they need you. Big companies like IBM, get it done within days. Others take months or even more.

      INS started a new service (and is criticized for it) where the employer can pay $1000 extra and get the process done quicker.

      The tech market in US is also very saturated, though they are still looking for experienced non-US citizens.
      I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
      - Robert McCloskey

      Comment


        #4
        There is no way, even a big company can get it done in days, under the present situation. Transfer of H-1 from one empployer to another takes between 2 days to 2 weeks, so thats not a biggie. If you don't have a valid H-1 on your passport right now, then you do not come under this category.

        Yours will essentially be a "fresh" H-1. According to the guidelines of INS, and what I practically experienced, it takes anywhere between 2 to 3 months for INS to process an H-1 and for you to get the "Notice of Action" (NoA). A copy of the NoA is also sent to the Consulate specified, and you take your passport there and they stamp the visa on the passport (usually without hassle). Thats the preferred method of INS.

        The other quicker method (I am not sure if it is still allowed after the recent rule changes) is for you to get a visit visa (B-1) from the consulate in Canada (don't tell them you are going to Seattle to get a job). Once you are in Seattle and you get a job offer, then the employer applies for an H-1 for you and at the same time, also applies for a "Change of Status from B1 to H1". It used to be a pretty standard process, and takes about 2-3 months. The good thing was that under this process you could have started rightaway on a limited basis (see the next post below). The only problem is that unless the approval comes through you can not leave USA otherwise the whole process will lapse. Once you get the NoA and the "Approval of Change of Status", they will send you a new I-94. You don't have to get the visa stamped right away. The next time you leave US, go back to the country of origin, and then you do need to get the visa stamped from the Consulate to re-enter.

        In any case, the most important thing to remember is, ofcourse, that only the employer/company can apply for an H-1 for you, and you can not do it on your own. Therefore all such matters need to be discussed between you and the employer before making a decision on accepting employment.

        [This message has been edited by Faisal (edited June 06, 2002).]
        "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

        Comment


          #5
          Technically you can not start working for an employer unless your H-1 is approved. You can not work for an employer on salary as long as you are on B-1 visa. If a company wants you really bad, and really urgently, they can work around this by merely appointing you as a consultant, and don't pay you in the US (pay you in your home country i.e. Canada). There are something you can and can not do when you are on B-1 visa. Limited consulting, and attendance in business meetings is ok, but doing regular work under salary is not ok.

          Usually the attorneys of the employer know all about such things and can guide you accordingly in line with most recent rule changes. A good website for this purpose is Visa News

          Btw, if you already have an H-1 and you merely switch employers, then you can start working for the new employer as soon as the application is filed, and you don't have to wait for the approval to come through.
          "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

          Comment


            #6
            Many thanks all for the input. I think it all depends on the company after all. If I wait few more months, then as a Canadian citizen, I can get N1 straight at the border and go work in the US. It will be the same thing in terms of time required, if I get a job offer now and company has to file for H1.

            Although, Seattle is doing quite well
            perhaps due to the presence of Microsoft and related dot com companies and that's quite tempting. Anyways, thanks once again..

            Saadia: that's exactly what H1 is meant for, and N1 is something which falls under NAFTA ( North American Free Trade Agreement) where citizens of one country can go and work in another with minimal immigration restrictions.

            [This message has been edited by Abdullah k (edited June 06, 2002).]

            Comment


              #7
              .

              [This message has been edited by Abdullah k (edited June 06, 2002).]

              Comment


                #8
                Abdullah bhai... Bill Gates say dosti karr lein or Steve Jobs ki jaan chorein. Warna harr dafa hamein aap kay mohabatnamay ki do do kaapian mila karein gi http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif
                "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Faisal, yaara you gotta point there. But nah, see if MS wasn't biased against us, then they wouldn't have put this bug in on purpose. Plus, it shows my affection for all of you..guess, so you guys can live with dat..

                  Comment


                    #10
                    .

                    [This message has been edited by Abdullah k (edited June 09, 2002).]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      AK under the new laws if you apply and do the $1000 processing you should get your H1 within 1 week if I remember. The 1000 should not be a biggie for anyone who is really interested in hiring you. At least that's my understanding.

                      you can also read more about it at www.visalaw.com - it is a fairly good immigration law practices web site.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by hmcq:
                        AK under the new laws if you apply and do the $1000 processing you should get your H1 within 1 week if I remember. The 1000 should not be a biggie for anyone who is really interested in hiring you. At least that's my understanding.
                        $1,000 is not a biggie at all, but one week is almost impossible for a first time H-1B applicant. Practically, its a minimum of 2 months (with expedited fee).

                        "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          yep its taking 2-3 months for H-1 visa .. INS is really taking time and big companies cant do anything bout that..
                          Abdullah ji I was thinking of going back to Vancouver and ur coming here?
                          Saints are fine for Heaven, but they are hell on earth.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/hehe.gif

                            Degas yaara, you are welcome to come anytime. It's unlikely that I'll ever leave Pacific Northwest, unless it's moving to Northern Pakistan http://www3.pak.org/gupshup/smilies/smile.gif

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yeah.. there's an expedited procedure with a expediting fee. Find out about it from the lawyer. I had my freind sponsor his brother through this process. It was done fairly quickly from what he told me.

                              Comment

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