Applying For 2 H-1Bs For A Small Business Simultaneously

2 H-1Bs For A Small Business At The Same Time

Nationality: Chinese
Applicant: Import/Export Trading Company
Beneficiaries: Jimmy*, Lily*
Position: Data Analyst, Operation Research Analyst

06/2020 H-1B petition filed
06/2020 Immigration Office Receipt
07/2020 First application successfully approved with no addendum
09/2020 Second application was successfully approved with no addendum

Challenges When Filing These 2 H-1Bs For A Small Business:
– Both beneficiaries were petitioning for H-1B positions in the data analysis category, and the U.S. employer was a small start-up company with only 10 employees, making it more difficult to justify petitioning for 2 similar H-1B positions at the same time
– The two beneficiaries had very similar academic backgrounds and possessed similar intellectual skills
– Simultaneous filing of 2 H-1Bs for a small business by two separate beneficiaries
– Both beneficiaries are at the lowest Level I salary level
– The company has been affected by COVID-19, with a lot of personnel changes and unstable structure




Jimmy and Lily joined this import/export trading company in 2019, starting as interns. The company was less than 5 years old and was in dire need of graduates with relevant majors to explain how to optimize its operations. Both Jimmy and Lily were doing excellent work, so the company decided to apply for 2 H-1Bs, one for both of them. However, the overlapping academic backgrounds of these two beneficiaries and the highly similar positions they were applying for made this case  much more difficult.

In addition, the employer was a small business, still in the early stages of development, with only 10 employees, but was applying for 2 H-1Bs at the same time. This was another major challenge to justify. After consulting with various parties, this U.S. employer finally decided to engage Tsang & Associates, PLC to handle these two H-1B visa applications.



1. Distinguish beneficiary backgrounds from the employer’s operational perspective
Since both beneficiaries belonged to the same company and submitted their applications at the same time, we had to highlight the differences in their backgrounds, taking into account the internal and external needs of the company’s development. After a thorough analysis, the Tsang & Associates, PLC team constructed a logical application from the perspective of the employer’s operations, ensuring that the distinction between the job content and the need for “one without the other” was reflected in both applications.

  • Job Description: Although both Jimmy and Lily’s positions are related to data analysis, the focus of their work was very different. One was an Operations Analyst focusing on internal management, while the other was a Data Analyst responsible for external operations. Therefore, we created several pages of specific responsibilities for each position to ensure that the two positions were clearly distinguishable from each other.
  • Academic Background: Jimmy and Lily’s university courses were similar, so it was again necessary to distinguish between their academic backgrounds. We accomplished this by presenting the results of each beneficiary’s work, noting that while the two beneficiaries had expertise in the same field, they did not overlap in their specific data analysis skills. In addition, their work further demonstrated the industry’s high threshold, which requires sophisticated application of data analysis skills.

2: Demonstrate that the positions of the two beneficiaries are essential to the company’s growth
Another difficulty with this application was the relative lack of plans for this U.S. employer and the application materials had to demonstrate that hiring Jimmy and Lily would play a key role in the company’s growth.

After numerous discussions with the U.S. employer and the two beneficiaries, Tsang & Associates, PLC decided to use the available materials flexibly, emphasizing the company’s growth rate and business plan by amplifying the proportion of the company’s soft strengths and growth prospects in the application materials. We provided dozens of pages of supporting details such as expansion plans, marketing investments, and client growth ratios, demonstrating that Jimmy and Lily’s positions, one internal and one external, were essential to the overall growth of this small business.



We filed Jimmy’s and Lily’s H-1B petitions in June 2020, and first received good news in July that Jimmy was approved without a supplemental petition, and then in September that Lily was also approved directly.

The U.S. employer and the two employees were thrilled, if not incredulous, to learn of the good news. They had been prepared for a difficult retroactive filing. They were very impressed and grateful to Tsang & Associates immigration team for their professional approach to these 2 H-1B petitions, which resulted in the approval of both H-1Bs and the retention of talent for the company.

Jimmy and Lily’s case is unique in that it is common for large companies to file multiple H-1B petitions for the same position at the same time because the company is large enough to support it. However, for small start-up companies, the risk of filing 2 H-1Bs or more at the same time is much higher.

However, many small companies have more operational and managerial needs, so although it may be more difficult to file 2 H-1Bs for a small business, it is not impossible. What is important is how to provide a convincing and reasonable explanation based on the company’s background to bring the case to life.

If you need assistance filing H-1B petitions for your small businesss, learn more about our H-1B visa services or contact us to discuss your case.

*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.


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