H-1B Visa, Work Visa to the USA
- H-1B is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers in America.
- H-1B is an employer-sponsored visa i.e. an employer must offer a job and petition for your H-1B visa with the US immigration department.
- This approved petition is a work permit that allows you to get a visa stamp and work in the US for that employer
Who qualifies for H-1B Visa?
H-1B is issued to a specialty occupation, requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
The US employer must be able to justify the exclusive need for this foreign worker/visa holder and prove that the task cannot be accomplished by a local citizen who may either be unavailable or not qualified, either academically or professionally
Is there any Quota for an H1B visa?
The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit or "cap" of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. There are an additional 20,000 visas for applicants who completed their master's degree from a US university. This cap is subjected to change based on regulations set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is the maximum time period allowed on a limit on H-1B Visa?
Initial approval is for 3 years, which can be extended in increments of up to 3 years. Total stay cannot exceed a total of 6 years. Read more about H1B visa extension
What is a typical process to obtain H1B Visa?
- Must qualify and be eligible for H-1B criteria.
- The employer gets Labor Condition Application(LCA) approval from the Department of Labor in the US.
- A US employer should file an H-1B petition with USCIS and get approval for it.
- The foreign worker must apply for the Visa and get the stamping at the applicable US consulate in his/her home country.
- Come to America and work for this designated Employer
- H-1B Visa is subject to approval. Each applicant must have a valid passport and need to complete a Visa application form, pay the fee, and appear for the visa interview at the nearest applicable US consulate in the home country.
Quick Facts about H1B Visa.
Limit of H1B visa.
Total stay is limited to 6 years. Initial approval is for 3 years, which can be extended for the increment of up to 3 years.
A new stamping can be done in any other country at any American consulate, based on the H1B extension approval. More
H-1B aliens may work for more than one U.S. employer but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by each employer.
H1B visa can be a multiple entry visa, which allows a person to travel in and out of the USA any number of times, within the specified visa validity.
H-1B aliens may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer, and the employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer.
- An H-1B alien may be on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity on strike.
- As long as alien is associated with the employer.
The spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of H1B professionals are allowed to stay in the United States under the H4 category for the same duration as the H1B status.
Permanent Residency (Green Card)?
An H1B holder is eligible to seek, permanent residency in the USA. More
- H1B can be transferred to a new employer with an H1B transfer.
- You can also start working for a new Employer upon the receipt of the H1 transfer case.
Buying Property in the USA?
- H1B holders can buy or sell real estate or any other property in the USA.
- You can buy a lottery or win a lottery.
What are the qualifying educational requirements for H-1B ?
One of the basic requirements for H1B is education. To qualify for the H-1B visa category, the prospective H-1B employee must hold a U.S. bachelor's or higher degree, or the equivalent. The person must hold a U.S. equivalent 4 years' bachelor or higher degree from an accredited college or university. If the foreign degree is 3 years' bachelor's degree, 3 years of work experience in the same or similar field /occupation can be considered one-year additional education.
In addition to the academic qualifications, the individual must be fully qualified to lawfully perform the duties of the position offered. In occupations that require licensure or professional credentials (e.g., doctor, dentist, attorney, CPA, architect, registered nurse), the individual must already hold such qualification before the H1B visa petition can be filed.
What type of jobs comes under Specialty Occupation? What type of Jobs /occupation can qualify for the H1B visa?
While there are several areas and categories which may qualify for specialty occupations like Engineers, Doctors/Physicians, Managers, Financial Manager, Analyst, Business Managers, Sales Managers, Art, entertainment, Lawyers, CPA, Architect, Health Care professionals, Technicians, there is a preference given to occupations that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Management.
H1B petition Process
Firstly, a US employer who chooses and agrees to employ you and file for your H-1B visa. For that, the employer files for an H1B petition with USCIS. The petition itself is a 2-step process. 1. Getting the Labor clearance. 2. Filing the H1B petition with USCIS.
1. Labor certification for H1B :
The prospective US employer must file an approved Form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Application (LCA), with Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. The employer must submit LCAs electronically via the DOLS iCERT Portal System
2. Filing for H1B Petition with USCIS:
Upon DOL certification, the employer files the USCIS Form I-129, the required filing fee, and other supporting documentation (including the approved LCA) to USCIS. Unless specifically exempt under the law, the employer must pay USCIS filing fees.
There can be fees associated with LCA and USCIS petitions. The fee is subject to change from time to time
What documents are required for the H1B visa petition?
An employer may require certain documents from the foreign worker for the purpose of the petition. Following is a typical sample of the required document for the H-1B petition: