H1B is a temporary work visa that gives US companies access to people with special skills for certain jobs. It also goes by the name – visas for persons in a specialty occupation. In the US, the H-1B visa is one of the major ways people from other countries come to the US to work in certain mainstream jobs.
If you are looking to work in the US, the H-1B visa for specialty occupations could be the perfect way to get your foot in the door. H-1B visas are the way to go if you want to reach your full potential and start working in the US.
Every year, millions of foreign workers from all over the world come to the US to work for American companies, and many of them come on H-1B visas. Think of yourself among them!
You will get to explore new places and cultures and do what you love! So, what are you waiting for? If you are looking to get an H-1B visa or got an H-1B visa recently, here are some guides to the things you need to know.
What is an H-1B visa?
If you are looking to move to the US and work for a US company, you will need to get an H-1B visa. It is an authorization from the US government that allows you to work in the US. Basically, you need to be a foreign worker in a field that requires specialized knowledge and meet certain job requirements that you could not find from a US-based worker.
You will be sponsored by your US employer, who will pay your visa fees and provide you with the documents you need to get to the US and start working for your company. If you are applying for an H1B visa, you are in luck! It is a great way to come and work in the US in a specialized field, but you will need to have an employer sponsor you first.
If you are unsure if the H-1B visa is right for you, talking with an immigration attorney in Texas can help clear this doubt.
Who is eligible?
If you have a higher education, advanced training, or special skills, you may be eligible to get an H-1B visa. This is especially true for jobs like IT specialists, architects, accountants, professors, doctors, and lawyers. The process to get an H-1B visa all starts with a US employer who has an open job and needs someone with the right qualifications.
If the foreign worker meets the requirements, they may get the visa. The US employer must meet some criteria to be able to sponsor someone for an H-1B visa. Usually, the US employer must have an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) number.
If you are a US employer looking at getting sponsoring foreign workers for H-1B visas, talking with an immigration attorney in Texas will help you know how to go about the sponsorship process.
It is vital to note that US employers need to file a labor condition with the Labor Department and clearly show that there is no American citizen equal to you in the role. You will need a current passport and have to go to the interview at the closest US consulate.
You will need to explain that you are coming to the US for work purposes, not just to relax or have some fun.
Is there a cap to getting an H-1B visa with an Immigration Attorney in Texas?
Every year, the USCIS opens up the application process in the spring. Every year, between October 1st and September 30th, about 65,000 petitions are approved. 6,800 of those petitions are for Chile and Singaporean nationals (H-1B1 visas), and the rest are for H-1B visas.
The first 20,000 people who have a master’s degree are exempt from the visa cap. Talking with an immigration attorney in Texas can further clarify the H-1B visa cap and help you know how it affects you.
How to apply?
If you are applying for an H-1B visa, you should know the following:
What US employers will do:
- Your US employer will need to register with USCIS. It is a new process that started in 2020. US employers will need to fill out some basic info about themselves and the foreigner they are sponsoring for H-1B visa. It will cost a fee, but it is vital you get an immigration attorney in Texas to help, so they do not waste your time and money.
- There is a cap on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued, and they use a lottery system to decide who gets the visa.
- If you are a US employer, you need to make sure you have an LCA (Labor Conditions Application) that certifies you can hire foreign workers. This means you can offer fair wages and treatment to foreign workers. It also means you can make sure you are paying the minimum wage, ensuring your working conditions are fair, and ensuring you are notified of any changes to your labor certification.
- US employers will need to get all the certifications and paperwork you need before you hire a foreign employee, so you can talk with an immigration attorney in Texas to start working on it right away.
- If you are looking to hire a foreign worker, you will need to offer them a job and file an I-129 petition. You will need to file separate paperwork for each employee, whether they are extending their work or if they are changing jobs.
The paperwork needs to be signed, organized and includes fee checks and other supporting documents. The USCIS will look at US employers’ petitions to see if the jobs are real or fraudulent and whether to approve them or not.
If it is approved, the USCIS will issue form I-797 so the foreign employee can now apply for the H-1B visa.
What you should do as a foreign worker:
Then, you will need to:
- Fill out a DS-160 form,
- Schedule an interview,
- Pay the application fee,
- Submit all the necessary documents and
- Show up for the interview.
It is really important to fill out the DS-160 form with the correct info and follow all the instructions. You should schedule your interview early, so the US Embassy can process your application on time. At the interview, you must answer some questions about your work and what you do.
An immigration attorney in Texas can help you prepare for this interview. If you are a first-time applicant, your fingerprint will be taken and stored. H-1B visas are usually good for 3 years, but they can be extended for up to 3 years more. So, you can work and live in the US for up to 6 years.
H-1B visas come with lots of advantages. One of the biggest is that the H-1B visa is a dual-purpose visa, which means you can apply for permanent residency while on the visa. Another great thing about it is that it is portable, so you can move your US employers while you are on the visa.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to apply for an H1B visa, it is important to remember that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Working with an immigration attorney in Texas is the best way to make sure your application goes smoothly.
Our immigration attorneys at Gehi and Associates have lots of experience when it comes to H-1B visas and would love to help you out. It is always a good idea to get ready for your H-1B application as soon as possible. If you have any questions or need help with any of the info in this post or about H-1B visas in general, contact us right away!