H-1B Visa - Part 1

The H-1B visa category allows organizations with a Federal Identification Number/IRS tax number to employ a foreign professional to work in a specialty occupation for up to six years. Examples of specialty occupations include accountant, computer analyst, engineer, financial analyst, scientist or architect.

I.Benefits of the H-1B Visa
A.   You do not have to maintain a foreign residence and show intent to return to your home country while applying for the visa

B.   Your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain your H-1B status. They can also attend school

C.   You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. provided you have a valid visa
II.Requirements for the H-1B Visa

A.   Criteria for Determining Employer's Eligibility
To be eligible for sponsoring an H-1B visa, the employer must prove that:
1. The position offered requires knowledge, both theoretical and applied, which is almost exclusively obtained through studies at an institution of higher learning

2. The position requires a specific course of study which relates directly to the position

3. Attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific activity (or its equivalent) is a minimum requirement for
the position

B.   Criteria for Determining Employee's Eligibility
To be eligible for an H-1B visa, you must demonstrate that you have:
1. Full state licensure to practice in the occupation, if such licensure is required to practice in the occupation

2. Completed the degree required for the occupation or possess experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree

3. Recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty

C.   Positions Generally Considered Professional
Accountant, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Computer Programmer, Dietitian, Electronics Specialist, Fashion Designer, General Manager (where business is complex), Graphic Designer, Hotel Management, Industrial Designer (with B.A.), Interior Designer (commercial), Journalist, Librarian, Medical Records Librarian, Medical Technologist, Minister, Orthopedist, Pharmacist, Social Worker, Technical Publications Writer and Vocational Counselor.
Note: If your position is not listed above, you may want tocontact us to determine if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would consider the position offered to you as a professional position.
III.Applying for the H-1B Visa
You cannot apply for an H-1B visa as an individual. A U.S. employer has to sponsor your H-1B visa. To sponsor you, the employer must:

File a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor

File USCIS Form I-129, Petition for nonimmigrant worker with
H supplement and supporting documentation and the approved LCA with the USCIS

If you are overseas, you must take the H-1B approval notice to the American Consulate to obtain the H-1B visa. If you are already in the U.S., you can start working for your employer as soon as you receive the H-1B approval notice.
Note: If you are currently on H-1B status, then you can start working for a new employer upon filing of the new petition.