A foreign national with a valid H1B status can work for more than one employer. But in such a case, the extra employee is prepared to apply for a concurrent H1B.

Understanding the best practices and pitfalls is important for those who want to secure employment in the United States.

Let’s delve into what a concurrent H1B petition is and the key elements to help you optimize your chances.

What is Concurrent H1B?

Concurrent employment on an H1B visa is when an individual holds multiple employers and H1B jobs.

To engage in a concurrent position, each employer must file a separate H1B visa petition on behalf of the employee. The H-1B application procedure would entail completing a Labor Certification Application and submitting it to the Department of Justice. Each petition must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The total number of hours worked across all H1B employers must comply with the regulations.

Things to Consider in Concurrent H1B

While some part-time jobs involve contracts, individuals who hold simultaneously require an employer-employee relationship. Ensure you’re on the payroll and receive a W-2 document for proof. This document may be needed for future H-1B extensions or green card applications.

Remember: 

  • Add any changes in working hours due to your additional job.
  • Your new position must require specialized knowledge gained through higher education.
  • USCIS may not approve a full-time concurrent H-1B if you already hold a full-time H-1B position.

The concurrent H-1B employment doesn’t need to fall into the same specialty occupation. Foreign nationals can work in different occupations in different industries. However, if you are currently employed full-time and want to work for your second company, you could not be granted a concurrent visa status. A full-time job is defined as one that requires 40 hours of labor each week.

On a 2nd H-1B visa that is being used concurrently, you cannot:

  • Do cooking and marketing food
  • Perform any tasks using cash
  • Perform simple duties
  • Perform contract work
  • Perform side gigs on platforms like Uber Eats, Lyft, and Airbnb.
  • Maintain websites, make long-term investments, and monetize them using Google Ads and other advertisements.

Any position offered requires knowledge to begin working. So, it is essential that the concurrent H1B worker be well-qualified for the role.

Best Practices in Concurrent H1B Petitions

A new employer should follow these best practices to ensure a smooth and successful concurrent H1B petition process.

Assess eligibility

Before filing concurrent H1B petitions, it is best to evaluate each candidate’s eligibility. This includes verifying their qualifications and work experience. Make sure that their positions meet the H1B visa requirements.

Establish clear timelines

Creating a well-defined timeline is essential for managing multiple concurrent H1B petitions. This includes setting deadlines for gathering required documentation and submitting petitions.

Remember, you need to respond to any requests for evidence from the USCIS.

Engage an experienced immigration attorney

Hiring an experienced immigration attorney specializing in H1B petitions can increase the chances of success. They will guide any employer wishing to make the process smooth. This also ensures compliance with all requirements and provides expert advice throughout the application process.

Mitigate risks of RFEs (Requests for Evidence)

Requests for Evidence (RFEs) are common in H1B visa applications. To mitigate the risk of RFEs in concurrent petitions, provide documentation and address potential concerns proactively. Anticipating USCIS queries enhances the strength of your petitions.

Regularly update

While filing concurrent H1B petitions, it’s best to avoid the pitfalls that can hinder the success of the application. Employers can take proactive measures to avoid these:

  • Insufficient documentation. Failing to provide accurate documentation can result in the rejection of the petition. Employers must ensure that all required forms are included. Also, make sure that supporting letters and evidence are in each petition.
  • Inconsistent job descriptions. Inconsistencies in descriptions in multiple specialty occupations raise red flags. This also leads to the denial of the petitions.
  • Missed deadlines. Meeting the deadlines set by the USCIS is important. Employers must track and adhere to all filing deadlines to avoid unnecessary delays or rejections.

How to Check Concurrent H1B Petitions

Several ways are available to help employers effectively manage concurrent H1B petitions. These include:

  • USCIS website. The official website of the USCIS provides comprehensive information on H1B petitions. These include forms, filing fees, and processing times.
  • Immigration attorney directories. Online directories, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), can help employers find experienced immigration attorneys specializing in H1B petitions.

Conclusion

Successfully navigating concurrent H1B petitions and a foreign national working scenario requires careful planning. Engaging the help of an experienced immigration attorney is best. Additionally, staying organized and proactively managing the process are also key factors.

With the right approach and law firm, employers can navigate the complexities of concurrent H1B petitions. Also, securing the necessary visas for their highly skilled foreign workers is important.

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