Any tips for presenting a strong H-1B case?  What if I’m not selected?  • TechCrunch

Any tips for presenting a strong H-1B case? What if I’m not selected? • TechCrunch

Any tips for presenting a strong H-1B case?  What if I’m not selected?  • TechCrunch

Here is another edit from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to the dissemination of knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise beyond borders and pursue their dreams,” says Silicon Valley immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn. “Whether you’re in people operations, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two year subscription at 50% off.


Dear Sophia,

I am currently on regular OPT. My employer will sponsor me in the H-1B lottery in March. Can you share tips for presenting a strong H-1B case if I am selected? If I’m not selected, then what?

— Competent and pragmatic

Dear expert,

Thank you for asking the two questions that I’m sure are on every H-1B candidate’s mind for the first time. Even if the H-1B lottery doesn’t happen until March, it’s important that businesses and their immigrant employees start getting their house in order now. With the tech layoffs, there is a chance of fewer registrations for the upcoming lottery, which could increase the chances of selection.

Tips for a Strong H-1B Petition

If you are selected in the lottery, your company will be notified by March 31 and will have until June 30 to file your application for the H-1B Skilled Occupation Visa. As always, I suggest employers work with their immigration attorneys to strategize now.

If you are selected in the lottery, your company will need to develop a solid H-1B for you with their legal counsel. Crafting a strong H-1B petition begins with obtaining a Labor Condition Application (LCA) approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. An approved ACL is required for all H-1B petitions. The Department of Labor usually decides whether or not to certify an ACL within 10 business days.

For the ACL, your employer must promise to pay you at least the prevailing wage based on your position and location, and ensure that your terms of employment will not negatively affect U.S. workers. Employers do not need to submit evidence to the Department of Labor with the ACL, but they must post a copy of the H-1B notification, which can be done electronically, keep all supporting documentation on file, and make it accessible to the public. .

A composite image of immigration lawyer Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

For the H-1B skilled occupation visa, your employer will need to complete Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and include evidence and supporting documents. Crafting a strong H-1B petition also requires the following:

  • Your employer must demonstrate that the “skilled occupation” offered to you requires a bachelor’s degree and show that you hold this diploma. If your position falls under the STEM category, it is often easy to prove the need for a bachelor’s degree. It is more difficult for non-STEM positions and certain specific professions, such as IT, programming, data analysis or other analyst jobs.
  • You will need to collect documentation proving that you have maintained your immigration status while in the United States, including all I-20s issued to date for students and all Employment Authorization Document Cards ( EAD).
  • Avoid errors and omissions by double-checking your forms and documents. Make sure the information in the ACL matches the Form I-129 and that anything that needs to be signed is signed.

Plenty of other options!

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