H1B Visa 2018: Q & A

Here are some common questions about the H1B visa along with our response:

  1. Can I work from home or remotely while on an H1B visa?
  2. If you are in the US working under valid H1B status, you can work anywhere that your employer/sponsor allows.  The only requirement is that the work location be specified in the LCA (Labor Condition Application). If you begin work at your employer’s office, then want to switch to a remote/home office then the LCA needs to be amended to reflect the change in location.
  3. How soon can I travel to the US after my H1B visa is approved?
  4. The rule for travel and entry to the US with an H1B visa depends on the start date.  You cannot enter the US on your H1B visa more than 10 days prior to your start date. So, if your job was subject to the cap and lottery, your earliest start date is October 1 of the same year, and entry can be 10 days prior.
  5. If I transfer my H1B visa to a new sponsor, are the fees the same as the original petition/sponsor?
  6.  Some of the fees will be the same, since a transfer is essentially a new petition for a new visa.  The actual fees for the transfer will depend on the size of the employer and whether they are ‘H1B dependent’, which would result in a higher fee.  In any case, the employer is required to pay all H1B visa fees, so there is no impact for the employee/beneficiary.
  7.  If I am working in the US on an H1B visa, do I have to pay US taxes if I am not a citizen?
  8.  Yes, you have to pay federal and state taxes, the same as any one working in the US, and your employer is required to make those deductions from your paycheck.  Also, you will need to pay FICA which covers social security and Medicare funding, even if you won’t have any opportunity to participate in those benefit programs.
  9.  Can my family accompany me to the US if I have an H1B visa and position?
  10.  Yes, your spouse and dependents can enter the US and live with you while you are working in an H1B position.  However, the rule that permitted your spouse to work with an H-4 visa may be revoked soon, so you won’t have the benefit of two incomes to support your family.
  11.  Is it too late to look for an H1B visa sponsor and position this year?
  12.  The annual lottery is already completed, so you would have to wait until next year for any position that is subject to the annual cap of 85,000 visas.  But, you can apply for a cap-exempt position at any time, and you won’t have to go through the lottery process.
  13.  What are the advantages of working in the US with an H1B visa?
  14.  For many foreign workers the most obvious advantage is the opportunity to earn a higher salary than is possible in their home country.  Even though the cost of living is higher in the US, there is still a chance to save or send money home. The other advantage is gaining valuable experience and skills that can either be used for higher wage jobs in the US, or to offer to companies in the home country.

If you have your own questions about the H1B visa program, please contact us at any time and we will do our best to answer.

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  • December 12th, 2018
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