Honolulu Attorney Provides Immigration Assistance for IT Professionals
A firm that explores visa options for information technology professionals
The Law Offices of KahBo Dye-Chiew in Honolulu helps foreign IT professionals work and live in the United States. The United States has recognized the importance of IT professionals because they are one of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (“STEM”) occupations. The most visible recognition of the importance of IT professionals is the extension of optional practical training authorization for foreign students who graduate with a “STEM” degree for an additional 17 months — a total of 29 months of employment authorization after graduating with a bachelor’s or higher degree.
For nonimmigrant or temporary work visas, most IT professionals qualify for H-1B visas because they will be employed in professions that require a bachelor’s degree in a specific field as a minimum requirement and they often have at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in that specific field. Some IT professionals, such as computer or video game designers, or those involved in research, may even qualify for O visas if their work has been recognized as “extraordinary” or “outstanding.”
In order to qualify for lawful permanent residency status in the United States, most IT professionals must have a job offer and must use the labor certification process. They will either qualify under the EB-2 or EB-3 immigrant visa categories, depending on the minimum level of education required for the position by the U.S. employer for the position offered.
Some IT professionals may qualify for an immigrant visa without a job offer as a person of extraordinary ability under the EB-1 category or under the EB-2 subcategory of National Interest Waiver EB-2 category.
Attorney KahBo Dye-Chiew has been successful in classifying IT Professionals in the categories of H-1B, O-1, EB-2 National Interest Waiver and pursuant to the labor certification process under EB-2 and EB-3 categories described above.
Potential changes in immigration law may affect the IT professional
Lawmakers proposed a new immigration bill, S.744, in April 2013 that could help professionals in information technology. It has passed the U.S. Senate, but is hotly debated as of August 2013.
If this new bill passes, it affects both employment-based visas for permanent workers and the H1-B visa for temporary workers.
The following are proposed employment-based changes that would affect EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 visas:
- Elimination of country-specific limits — Over time, this would help equalize petitions from IT professionals from China and India, countries for which there have been large backlogs.
- Exemptions from worldwide cap — IT professionals with extraordinary ability or advanced degrees from U.S. universities would no longer be subject to the worldwide cap of 140,000 employment-based visas a year, and they would also be exempt from labor certification.
The following are proposed H1-B visa changes for specialty occupations, including information technology:
- Increase in the H1-B visa cap — The new bill raises the cap from 65,000 to between 115,000 and 180,000 with consideration for demand and unemployment.
- Increase in H1-B wage requirements — The range of wages narrows, raising the lowest level of wages paid to H1-B workers.
- Requirements for U.S. employers — Employers would need to increase their talent recruiting efforts by placing mandatory ads to find U.S. workers first.
Learn your visa options as an IT professional
The Law Offices of KahBo Dye-Chiew in downtown Honolulu helps Information Technology professionals and their employers fill critical positions in U.S. companies. Call 866-510-7082 or contact the firm online to schedule a consultation about visa options. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.