The current economic conditions and the predictions of rising economic uncertainty are forcing many H1-B employers to prune their workforce down. We all know that re-hiring them when the economy turns green will always be costly. The H1-B visa for part-time employment is a strategic tool that employers can use in the current situation. Using it, an employer can save themselves from the future cost burden and avoid their current concern of sufficient revenue for full-time jobs.
Note that an employer needs to file an amended H-1B petition to change a full-time employee to a part-time employee and vice versa to use this as a tool.
Things that H1B employers need to keep in mind while filing part H1-Bs:
- Under regulations, no minimum number of hours is mandatory to qualify for part-time H-1B status. Part-time employment is anything less than 35 hours. From the perspective of practicality, the employer should be able to prove that the beneficiary will make a living wage with this, or the petition should accompany proof that the beneficiary has sufficient means to support themselves.
- The number of hours worked may be listed as a range, such as “15-20 hours per week” or as “flexible.”
- The part-time status could alleviate an employer’s position as an H-1B dependent because when we evaluate based on calculation, a part-time worker is always considered less than a full-timer.
Before deciding that part-time status is suitable, the employer should also check the DOL regulations and understand any relevant DOL reporting obligations.
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