Do I Need an Immigration Attorney for an H1B?

A frequent question that comes up for foreign nationals that want to apply for an H1B visa position in the US is whether an immigration attorney is necessary.  The short answer is no, since technically your sponsor will be taking care of the petition and application process.  

However, in some cases it could be helpful for both the foreign worker and sponsor to have legal assistance to prepare and file the H1B visa petition.  If you do want to use an attorney and your sponsor agrees, then you should know that the attorney’s fees are one cost that the sponsor is not required to pay for (but they may).

Under What Circumstances Might an Attorney Make a Difference?

Due to a few key administrative changes, there are a few types of H1B petitions that are not as straightforward as in the past.  Here are a few examples:

  • Any IT position that has fairly low qualifications or skill requirements (for example, entry level computer programmers are being limited for H1B visas)
  • All H1B visa extensions (new rules require that extensions are now treated like new petitions)
  • Students on F-1 visas and OPT seeking and H1B visa to remain in the US
  • H1B visa transfers to a new employer
  • Positions at lower wage levels

All of these situations have an element of uncertainty following this year’s rule changes, and an immigration attorney would be current with the new qualification standards and requirements.  Their guidance might make the difference between approval or denial.

Note: using an immigration attorney will not improve your chances of being selected in the lottery for jobs subject to the annual cap.

What Does an Immigration Attorney Do in the H1B Visa Process?

An immigration attorney who is experienced with H1B visas can be helpful in several ways:

  • Advising the sponsor and worker on the overall process and timeline
  • Managing expectations for selection in the lottery
  • Obtaining the most current prevailing wage for the job and location, and completing the Labor Conditions Application accurately
  • Completing the petition along with all supporting documents
  • Filing the petition with the USCIS
  • Responding to any Requests for Evidence from the USCIS
  • Following up on lottery results and petition review

Is Hiring an Attorney Worth the Cost?

Many sponsors and foreign applicants choose to do the petition on their own rather than pay extra attorney’s fees, which can add to the visa cost.  However, when you consider the monetary and business benefit to both the worker and sponsor, it may be a wise investment to hire an immigration attorney.

If Sponsor Pays:

If for some reason the petition is denied, the sponsor has the entire application fee returned, so their only out-of-pocket cost would be the attorney.  But, if approved, the incremental amount of paying an attorney one time for the visa would be easily offset by the value of a skilled foreign worker for three years.  

If Worker Pays:

If the worker is asked to pay the fee, then it would depend upon 1) whether they can afford it and 2) how seriously they want to work in the US (or continue to work with an extension or transfer).  These are strictly personal considerations, but if you fall into one of the examples listed, it may be worth paying an attorney to assist you.

If you are still looking for a sponsor and job for an H1B visa, please contact us with your questions at any time.

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  • January 8th, 2018
  • 12

12 thoughts on “Do I Need an Immigration Attorney for an H1B?”

  1. Looking for work in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR area. I’m 25 years working in the field of education with 22 of those in special education. I also have four degrees, the highest is a Masters in Special Educational Needs.

  2. I am a foreign Nurse who is interested in living and working in the united state, kindly assist in making my dream a reality

  3. Hi,
    I graduated in May 2018 and I have my OPT until June 2019. I have been struggling to find an employer willing to sponsor my H1B visa and I had to make the decision to come back home. I really want to go back to the U.S and I’m not giving up until the last minute. Do I still have a chance to apply for the H1B? Have you heard of cases similar to mine? Do you help find sponsors? If I find a sponsor/job I would move back in a heartbeat. I’d love to hear some advice. Thank you!

  4. Good day.

    I am from Philippines. I am here in USA for my internship program for 1 year. I just came here 3 months ago. I just wanted to ask on how to get an employer or sponsor for h1b visa. I am planning to extend my stay here before my j1 visa expires. Can you help me with this case?

    Looking forward for your response.

    Thank you.

  5. Respected Sir/Madam

    I am from India and my son got admitted in Cornell Tech for Meng (Electronics and Computer Eng) 1 year Master’s program (STEM) for Fall 2020.

    I am bit confused about sending him to USA due to :

    1. Filling unsecure for OPT after his complition of studies which is costly.
    2. Again unsecure about H1 visa for his further job.
    3. In future if he gets married from India then again problem for taking her wife to USA
    4. Getting Greencard and Citizen (which is very tough)

    Are there any services which you provides to help me in getting the answers and solution for the above mentioned problems which I am facing.

    Please do inform me.

    Warm Regards,


  6. I am currently a middle school teacher in South Bend, Indiana.
    I recently earned my Masters in Education (focus in Leadership) from a school in the United States. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Psychology.
    I am currently working on an OPT that is due to expire in July 2021.
    I am a 6th and 7th social studies teacher at Navarre Middle School in the South Bend Empowerment zone. Navarre Middle School is a title 1 school. The Empowerment Zone partnered with the South Bend community to collectively help address the growing educational needs at Navarre Middle School and its feeder schools – Wilson, Warren, Harrison, and Coquillard Elementary schools. These five schools are a “transformation zone” under Indiana law (20-31-9.5-9.5)- named the South Bend Empowerment Zone (SBEZ or Empowerment Zone). SBEZ is a way for Navarre and its feeder schools to dramatically improve the outcomes for their students, all within a structure that allows the district to learn from and with the Zone leadership and schools. Through this approach, schools will receive significant autonomy and support to create a customized educational experience for their students.

    I may have given to much background information. I am looking to get sponsored through the South Bend Empowerment Zone and I want to better understand the necessary steps in order to make this achieveable. In addition, I believe the South Bend school corporation is affiliated with a Indiana University South Bend and Ivy Tech which means they they are cap except?
    If you could please send me some solid information. I would really like to get the process started as soon as possible.

  7. I have offer letter from one US company is appointment letter they offer me for reception job .now they give me a us visa immigration form fill and send us back then pay 300 usd with visa and attorney fee to her attorney name send who is on Philippines I am in uae now but my country is Pakistan cab you guide me please

  8. Can someone with stamped H1B Visa expiring in the next 3 months, travel from his home country to the Approved LCA location in the USA? And work for the new client, then file an HNSC Extension + Amendment and relocate to the new client location once got the receipt?

  9. Can someone with stamped H1B Visa expiring in the next 3 months, travel from his home country to the Approved LCA location in the USA?
    And work for the new client, then file an HNSC Extension + Amendment and relocate to the new client location once got the receipt?

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