H-1B visas, also known as specialty occupation visas, are temporary work visas that allow US companies to access individuals with specific skills for specific jobs. In the US, H-1B visas are one of the most common ways foreign workers from other countries enter the country to work in mainstream employment. If you want to work in the US, consider applying for a specialty occupation visa. H-1B visas are an excellent option for those who want to explore new cultures and do what they love.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign workers in specialized occupations to work in the US. It is one of the most complicated visas in the US to apply for, and many steps are involved. You can learn these steps when you attend an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation. However, you must organize your documentation for submission and complete the other steps in the visa application process.
Millions of foreign workers enter the US every year to work for US companies, many of whom use H-1B visas. So, if you are looking for a way to get into the US or have recently obtained an H-1B visa, there is some vital info you should know. We have compiled a few guides to help you start your journey to the US on a H-1B visa.
The meaning of an H-1B visa
H-1B visas are authorizations issued by the United States government that allow foreign workers to work in the United States. To be eligible for H-1B visas, you must be a foreign worker working in a field that demands specialized knowledge and specific job requirements that US-based workers cannot meet. H-1B visa holders will be sponsored by their US employer, who pays their visa fees and provides them with the documents they need to immigrate to the United States and begin working for their company.
If you are considering applying for H-1B visas in the United States, you are in luck! There is an offer of an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation you should attend. It is a great way to work in a specialized field in the US, but you will need an employer to sponsor you first. If you are unsure if H-1B is the correct visa, enquire at an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation session.
An H-1B visa is valid for a maximum of three years. There are also three-year extension options for a six-year total length of validity. Individuals on H-1B visas can bring their dependents, such as their spouse and children, who would be H-4 status holders. H-1B visa holders can change jobs. However, there are specific requirements that the H-1B beneficiary must meet to do so. The H-1B visa can also be used to pursue permanent immigration. This is because it is a visa with dual intent.
Benefits of H-1B visas
H-1B visas offer a variety of advantages. Here are a few of them:
- Right to work in the US: An H-1B visa is a type of visa that allows foreigners to work and stay in the US. This is to work in a specialty occupation. The H-1B visa allows highly skilled individuals to work in the US and benefit the US economy.
- You can apply for a green card as an H-1B holder: The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. Unlike the B, H2B, H3, and J1 visas, the H-1B visa only requires you to provide proof of ‘temporary entry’ (as opposed to evidence of nonimmigrant intent). You must also prove that you will leave the country after your H-1B status ends. However, you must not maintain a permanent residence abroad. This allows you to apply for benefits that may result in a green card while in the H-1B status without compromising your visa.
- You can bring your dependents to the US: Your spouse and dependent children (under 21 years old and unmarried) can get H4 status. This means they can travel with you to the US. Your dependent children can go to school but are not allowed to work (with some exceptions). Your dependent children must be in the US to join the H-1B holder. The H4 status will be revoked if your dependent children are in the US while your principal H-1B holder is abroad.
- The H-1B status is flexible: One of the main advantages of the H-1B visa is its portability. This allows you to start working for another employer once you file your new H-1B petition.
Who can get H-1B status?
H-1B visas are issued to foreign workers who meet specific criteria, such as having a high level of education, advanced training, and special skills. These unique skills may be relevant to jobs such as IT specialists, architects, accountants, professors, doctors, and lawyers. Obtaining an H-1B visa begins with an open job in the US. A foreign worker may be approved for the visa if they meet specific requirements.
To sponsor a foreign worker, an employer in the US must have an IRS number. If you are an American employer looking to sponsor foreign workers, participating in an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation session can help you understand how to do so. The first thing you need to know is that employers in the US must file a labor claim with the Department of Labor. They must demonstrate that no American citizen is qualified for your position.
You will need a valid passport. Eventually, you will have an interview that will take place at the nearest US consulate. You must explain to the interviewer that you are coming to work in the US, not just for recreational purposes.
H-1B cap limit
The USCIS opens the application process each year in the spring. Approximately 65,000 H-1B petitions are processed yearly, from October 1st to September 30th. Of those, 6,800 are H-1B1 (Chile) and H-1S (Singapore) petitions, and the remaining are H-1B visas.
The first 20,000 individuals who have a master’s degree are not subject to the visa cap. Consulting with a lawyer at an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation session can help you understand the cap on H-1Bs and how it affects you.
The application process
There are two parts to the H-1B application process – the US employers and the foreign workers. Here are some things you need to know if you are planning to apply for an H-1B visa:
1. The US employer’s part
The US employer must register with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This requirement is new and started in 2020. US employers must fill out information about themselves and the H-1B immigrant they are sponsoring. There will be a fee for this. You must get an H-1B immigration lawyer to help you avoid wasting your time and money. You must know that the H-1B visa is limited in number and is awarded through a lottery system.
If you are an employer in the US, you must have a Labor Conditions Application (LCA) certifying that you can employ foreign workers. The LCA certifies that you can pay fair wages and treat foreign workers fairly. It also certifies that you pay the minimum wage. It certifies that you have fair working conditions. Lastly, you will be notified when your labor certification changes. US employers must meet all the requirements before hiring a foreign employee.
You can start working on it right away! Attend an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation session. If you want to hire a foreign immigrant worker, you must provide them with an employment offer and file a petition for I-129. You must file individual I-129 paperwork for each worker, whether they are extending their employment or changing jobs. The paperwork must be signed, filed, and accompanied by fee checks and supporting documents.
USCIS will look at the jobs submitted by US employers to see if the jobs are real or fake and decide whether to accept or reject the petitions. If the petitions are accepted, USCIS will give the foreign employee the I-797 form to apply for a visa.
2. The foreign worker’s part
After that, the foreign worker must do the following:
- Complete a DS-160,
- Schedule an interview,
- Pay the application fee,
- Submit all required documents and
- Attend the interview.
You must complete the DS-160 with the correct information and follow all instructions. Schedule your interview early so the US Embassy can promptly process your application. You will be asked questions about your job and what you do during your interview. Being part of an H-1B immigration lawyer’s free consultation session can help you prepare for your interview. For first-time applicants, your fingerprints will be taken and saved.
Most H-1B visas have a term of 3 years but can be extended by up to 3 additional years. This means you can work and reside in the United States for up to 6 more years. The H-1B visa comes with many benefits. One of the most important is that it is dual-purpose, meaning that you can also apply for permanent residency during your stay on the visa. It is also portable, meaning you can move to and from your US employers while on the visa.
Now that you understand the basics of H-1B applications, it is crucial to remember that this is only the beginning. The sure way to ensure that your H-1B application goes smoothly is to work with an immigration lawyer. Our immigration lawyers at Gehi and Associates have extensive experience in the field of H-1B visas and would be happy to assist you. Preparing for your H-1B applications as early as possible is always a good idea.
If you have any queries or need assistance with any information about H-1B visas or immigration generally, contact us today!
Can I get H-1B status from outside the US?
Yes, you can have an employer apply if you live outside the US. Once you have been approved, you will receive the visa stamp at your US embassy/consulate and be able to enter the US in that status.
Does the H-1B status make me eligible for a green card?
No, the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for a green card.
Can I get an H-1B visa with a part-time job?
Yes. There is no legal limit to the length of time an H-1B applicant can work. They can work part-time or full-time.
Can I get a green card while on an H-1B visa?
Yes, you can apply for a green card as an H-1B visa holder. The H-1B visa is a ‘nonimmigrant visa,’ which means the holder has legal immigration intent (to apply for and obtain a green card) without affecting their H-1B status. You can get a green card through family sponsorship or employer sponsorship.