We can help immigrants who are holding a student visa and want to convert their immigration status by applying for an H-1B employment visa once they graduate from college to obtain a job in their field. There is a quota on H-1B visas and they are not unlimited. The cap is 65,000, however there are an additional 20,000 allowed for F-1visa students who have earned a masters or higher level degree from a United States college or university. There are even more authorizations for those who will work at a United States college or university.

In fact, H1B visa petitions filed on behalf of H1B workers who will work at institutions of higher education, or a related or affiliated nonprofit entities, or at nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations are exempt from the cap. Certain students with pending or approved H1B petitions may remain in F-1 visa status during the period of time when their visa status would expire up to the start of their approved H-1B employment period. This exception is necessary because an employer may not file and the immigration service may not accept an H-1B visa petition submitted earlier than six months before the start date of employment. The review process is not always completed within six months. In order to transition from student to employee, the employer must also participate in the authorization request process.

Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney working in New York City. Please contact us for your free initial consultation.