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Common Immigration Mistakes Employers Make and How to Avoid Them

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on March 19, 2015

Employers looking to hire foreign nationals have a number of work visa options available to them in order to bring the foreign national into the country for employment. The process of choosing the appropriate work visa can be a tricky and confusing process in and of itself, but the application process can be even more daunting. An immigration lawyer can be critically important in easing the burden and ensuring that you submit a timely and complete visa petition.

  • Starting the application process too late. The completion of visa applications – regardless of which work visa is sought – can be time-consuming and intensive. In many cases, the visa application will require cooperation between the employer and foreign national employee. If the foreign national is still living abroad, the process can be further delayed due to different time zones. Even if the process moves as smoothly as possible, a visa application still requires the submission of a significant amount of supporting documentation, which can take a long time to gather. For this reason, it is important to start the work visa application process well in advance of the employment start date or the application filing deadline.
  • Missing filing deadlines. Some work visas have strict deadlines and quota limits. For instance, the H-1B visa is limited to 65,000 in the general category and 20,000 in the advance degree category. The H-1B visa application period opens on April 1, 2015 and, most years, the cap is reach relatively quickly and the USCIS stops accepting applications. Last year, S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the first week of the filing period last year and, on April 10, 2014, completed a computer-generated random selection process to select those petitions that would be used cap. Unfortunately, those petitions that are not randomly selected are rejected and returned to the petitioner along with the applicable filing fees. If you plan to submit an H-1B visa application, you should prepare the application well in advance and mail it on March 31, 2015 for delivery by April 1, 2015.
  • Not submitting adequate supporting documentation. USCIS requires sufficient documentation regarding the job requirements, the employee’s skills and qualifications, and salary information, among other information. Because it can take a considerable amount of time to assemble the documentation, it is important to start as early as possible. An immigration attorney should also review your application for submission to ensure that you have the required supporting documentation.
  • Failing to complete and sign the petition. Oftentimes, the tiniest details in the application – such as a signature on the application – are overlooked. The failure to complete all required sections in a visa application will result in the application’s denial. If time is of an essence, the initial denial could delay employment. It is highly recommended that you have an immigration lawyer review your application before submission so that all necessary information in completed.

If you are planning hiring a foreign national, contact the Chicago immigration lawyers at Shapiro Law Group at (847)564-0712.