The Concurrent H-1B Visa Strategy to Avoid the H-1B Cap for Providers

Thousands of H-1B cap-exempt providers are graduating this year.  You have found one that is ideal for your practice and you are willing to apply for an H-1B visa.  But you are faced with stiff competition for the 65,000 H-1B visa limit. And even if you “win” a visa, your provider might have to depart the U.S. in July and won’t be able to start work until October.  Is there any other way to steer clear of this dilemma?

Yes! You might have the option of applying for a concurrent H-1B while the provider is still in training.  Typically, used for “moonlighting,” the concurrent H-1B works like this:

  • For profit employer offers part-time employment to the provider.  The range of “part-time” hours can be as little as 5 hours and as many as 60 hours.  The provider’s weekly work hours must fall within this range, and he must be paid the minimum number of hours even during weeks he does not work.
  • The start date of the H-1B must be a date before the provider’s cap-exempt H-1B expires. For example, if the cap-exempt H-1B expires June 30, 2014, then the start date can be June 1, 2014 but no later than June 30, 2014.
  • A current letter of employment or a recent pay stub from the provider’s current cap-exempt employment is submitted with the H-1B petition.
  • The period of employment is specified for balance of time left on the provider’s H-1B visa.  For example, if the provider has used three (3) years of the six (6) year maximum allowed for an H-1B visa, then the concurrent employment period can run for three (3) years.
  • The provider must start work within 60 days of the H-1B start date.

For this option to work, the provider must be licensed in the state of employment. Some states do not issue licenses until residency is completed. If your state has this requirement, then the concurrent H-1B is not a viable option since the provider cannot get licensed in time.

Also, for-profit employers need to be aware that the concurrent H-1B cannot be renewed because the provider will no longer be employed with the cap-exempt employer.  For instance, an H-1B cap-exempt provider gets a concurrent H-1B petition with a cap-subject employer that starts May 15, 2014 and end May 15, 2016.  She completes her residency on June 30, 2014 and terminates employment with her cap-exempt employer.  To renew her H-1B and continue her employment with the cap-subject employer after May 15, 2016, the employer must apply under the H-1B cap or consider other visa options which may be available at the time.

While not perfect, the concurrent H-1B can be a viable option to hire that perfect candidate for your practice. For immigration questions about hiring foreign grad physicians for your practice, you are invited to contact Ann Massey Badmus at abadmus@cowlesthompson.com, 214-672-2161.

The information provided in this article is intended to help you understand basic issues involved in the immigration process for foreign physicians, and are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. This information is not offered as, nor does it constitute legal advice or legal opinions. You should not act or rely upon the information in this article without first seeking the advice of an immigration attorney.

 

Published by Ann Massey Badmus

Ann Badmus helps foreign national medical providers and their employers successfully cut through immigration red tape for fast and timely employment. Through her unique Immigration Prescription Program, she skillfully solves even the most complex immigration problems. Her comprehensive and clear advice has helped thousands of providers, employers, and recruiters avoid immigration delays, saving time and expense and providing a stress-free experience for all. Ann is frequently invited to speak about immigration issues before various organizations, including medical associations such as the American Academy of Neurology. She has also published numerous immigration articles and has authored a well-received book, The Immigration Prescription: The Practical Guide to Immigration for Foreign Born Physicians.

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