Everything You Need to Know About H-1B Visas in 2022

H1b visa season is quickly approaching! Here are some key things you need to know about the H1b visa program.

News Update: Oliver-Zhang Law is now offering FREE service for the electronic registration process (typically $450 dollars) if you retain us for your H1-B application. If you are not selected in the lottery, your attorney fee will be returned in full.

H1b visas are temporary work permits that allow individuals with special skills and education to work in the United States for up to three years; however, extensions may be granted. The minimum requirements are a bachelor’s degree and specialized skills. There are three H1b visa designations: Specialty Occupations (jobs with specialized responsibilities requiring expert knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field), DOD Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models. An eligible employer (“petitioner”) must sponsor the prospective worker (“beneficiary.”). One of the benefits of this program is that spouses and children of H1b visa holders may accompany the beneficiary.

The Cap:

A unique aspect of this visa program is the “Cap.” Each fiscal year, the federal government sets
aside 65,000 new H1b visas for eligible candidates. An additional 20,000 visas are reserved for
individuals with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution. USCIS also created a cap
exemption for individuals employed by an institute of higher education or an affiliated nonprofit entity; a nonprofit research organization; or a government research organization.

Registration and Lottery:

Since the government only issues a limited number of H1b visas, candidates are subject to the
visa “lottery.” This lottery is akin to a raffle that is essentially broken down into two phases: Advanced-degree candidates and remaining registrants. In 2020, USCIS streamlined H1b procedures by implementing an Electronic Pre-Registration process. Under this new system, petitioners must first register online and pay the $10 fee for each beneficiary. Next, USCIS randomly selects participants from the online registries.

One of the greatest advantages to this new system is that only basic information about the
prospective petitioner and worker is needed. Prior to 2020, petitioners were required to submit
complete petitions before the lottery draw. Now, petitions are submitted after the lottery
selection, saving participants time and money.

H1b Application:

Putting together your petition packet is a crucial endeavor. If you are selected to participate in the H1b program, you will need to complete these three general steps:

1. For specialty occupation and fashion models, the petitioner must submit and receive a Labor Condition Application certified by the Department of Labor.

2. The petitioner must complete and submit Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

3. For beneficiaries outside the U.S., you will need to apply for a visa and/or admission. The beneficiary may apply with the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. Prospective H1b workers, regardless of whether a visa is required, must apply to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for admission to the U.S. under the H1b

There are many benefits to the H1b visa program. If you have questions about H1b visa procedures, contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers today for a free immigration consultation. At Oliver-Zhang Law, our employment immigrations lawyers are committed to providing you with quality immigration help.



Meiwah Reopening- Coronavirus and the Immigrant Population

Dear Friends,
Great news, Meiwah is reopening today!  Like so many local businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19, particularly Asian restaurants, Meiwah Restaurant in Chevy Chase had stopped operating in April.  Larry La, the owner of the restaurant, is a Vietnamese-Chinese refugee who arrived in the US decades ago.  For nearly 20 years, the restaurant has stood as a symbol of hard-won American dream in our community.  For us immigration lawyers, it is a source of pride, inspiration, and affirmation that those whom we help can go on to make such important and wonderful contributions to America.  Here are two articles about Meiwah and the devastating domino effect coronavirus has had on a chain of businesses:   

Meiwah is reopening today for pick-up orders at 301-652-9882, and delivering via Doordash.com and Ubereats.com.  

Asian restaurants are commonly employers for a struggling immigrant population. They have also been the undeserved targets for discrimination during this crisis.  I hope that everyone will help spread the word and try to order food and support these local businesses in our communities as much as we can.  They truly need our help!  

Thank you all!  And please stay well. 

~ Julie Oliver-Zhang, Managing Partner of Oliver-Zhang Law

Zantac Recall Cancer Lawsuit Update

Zantac Recall Cancer Lawsuit Update, April 3, 2020:

By Julie Oliver-Zhang, Esq. and Rachel Wei, Esq.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on April 1, 2020 that it is requesting manufacturers to immediately withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs, commonly known as Zantac, from the market. A contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications is a probable human carcinogen. The FDA found that NDMA in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures. This results in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this carcinogenic impurity. Disturbingly, new FDA testing confirmed that the carcinogenic NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions

On February 10, 2020, 15 Zantac lawsuit plaintiffs have been transferred to South District of Florida court, where a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been filed on behalf of individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer subsequent to taking Zantac and similar ranitidine products. According to the transfer order, which was approved by federal judges, there are currently 126 cases pending in 21 districts nationwide. The Zantac lawsuit MDL currently consists both of individual plaintiffs alleging personal injury and punitive damage class action lawsuits.

Oliver-Zhang Law is representing clients nationwide who were diagnosed with cancer after exposure to Zantac. Please contact our Zantac attorneys at [email protected], or 202-643-1110 to see if you are eligible to claim compensation for your cancer injuries in the ongoing Zantac cancer litigation.

Knocking Down the Barricades of Discrimination: Same-Sex Marriage Equality Upheld in Oklahoma


June 15, 3014

By Julie Oliver-Zhang, Esq.

Victory was celebrated this Tuesday by gay rights supporters as Oklahoma joined one of two other federal courts, Utah and California, which have struck down a ban against same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.  In the decision, Judge Terence C. Kern of United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, using a rational basis review, held that:

“Part A intentionally discriminates against same-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license without a legally sufficient justification. First, Part A’s disparate impact upon same-sex couples desiring to marry is stark.  Its effect is to prevent every same-sex couple in Oklahoma from receiving a marriage license, and no other couple. This is not a case where the law has a small or incidental effect on the defined class; it is a total exclusion of only one group . . . .  moral disapproval of homosexuals as a class, or same-sex marriage as a practice, is not a permissible justification for a law.”

One of the two plaintiff lesbian couples, Susan Barton and Gay Phillips, own a company that provides vocational training to homeless teens.  Barton is an adjunct professor at Tulsa Community College and Phillips has a doctorate in sociology.  They have been in a committed, loving same-sex relationship for thirty years.  In order to legitimize their relationship, they had joined hands in matrimony three times.  The first was in a civil union in Vermont in 2001, then in Canada in 2005.  They again received a marriage license in California in 2008.  Like the Barton couple, many other same-sex couples have to marry outside of the state where they reside in order to qualify for federal benefits, such as the right to immigrate and receive green cards that was made available by Windsor in 2013.

On the heels of the Utah same-sex marriage freeze, Judge Kern had stayed his decision also pending appeal, although Attorney General Holder has affirmed in his recent video statement that all those LGBT couples who did manage to get married in Utah before the freeze are absolutely eligible for federal benefits.  This means that until the appeal is resolved, same-sex couples cannot legally get married and receive marriage licenses in Oklahoma.

Thus, the practical implication of the decision for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples who are in need of immediate immigration benefits is that they still must get married in another state or country that had legalized same-sex marriage.  USCIS has announced that it is the law of where the marriage was conducted, and not where the gay couple resides, that matters when it comes to the issuance of immigration benefits.  With foreign fiancée or spouses who have lived together and perhaps unlawfully present in the United States for decades because they are unable to receive legal status prior to Windsor, they can now contact an experienced LGBT immigration attorney to discuss their green card and inadmissibility waiver options.  Often, cases involving illegal aliens in same-sex marriages require professional assistance because the penalty can be deportation and permanent bar from re-entering the United States.

Yet, the tidal wave of equality for same-sex marriage is undeniable.  As Judge Kern eloquently concluded in his order:

“Supreme Court law now prohibits states from passing laws that are born of animosity against homosexuals, extends constitutional protection to the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals, and prohibits the federal government from treating opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages differently. There is no precise legal label for what has occurred in Supreme Court jurisprudence beginning with Romer in 1996 and culminating in Windsor in 2013, but this Court knows a rhetorical shift when it sees one. . . .  Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed.”