H-1B Visa – Visa in Specialty Occupations

H-1B Visa is a US non-immigrant work visa issued to foreign nationals in Specialty Occupation. Each year, USCIS approves around 65,000 petitions for H-1B Visa.

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This Visa is popular for being a dual intent visa; it can be changed to an immigrant Visa if you meet certain requirements. If you’re interested in applying for this visa, you should read this article to the end.

H1B visa applies to people who wish to perform services in Specialty Occupations in the US. A Specialty Occupation refers to any occupation that requires specialized knowledge or skill.

It usually requires a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent certification in the specialty job. Specialty Occupations may include, Engineering, Medicine, Accounting, Law, IT, Nursing, etc.

Unlike most Visa programs, the H-1B Visa program doesn’t require Employers to prove to the department of labor that they could not find the workers they needed in the US. Even if there are more qualified Americans for the job opening, the employer is not mandated to offer them the job.

Therefore this program has become an easy way for employers to bring in cheaper foreign labor into the US. However, only eligible foreign nationals can benefit from this opportunity.

Who is Eligible for H-1B Visa?

To be eligible for an H-1B Visa, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Must hold a foreign degree equivalent to a US bachelor or higher degree in a specialty occupation.
  • Must have professional training or experience that is equivalent to a degree in the Specialty Occupation.
  • Must hold a US bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college required by the specialty occupation you seek employment for.
  • Must hold a state license, registration, or certification to enable you practice that specialty occupation in the state.

How To Apply for H-1B Visa

The H1-B Visa Application process starts with a US employer. He or She must petition a prospective employee following these steps:

Get an Approved Labor Condition Application (LCA)

A prospective US employer must get an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) before hiring a foreign employee. LCA is issued by the US Department of Labor.
This certification makes the US employer eligible to employ a foreign national. LCA specifies that the foreign employee is entitled to some privileges from the employer.

File a petition with USCIS

After receiving LCA, the employer needs to file a petition with USCIS to get permission to hire a foreign national.

Complete Form I-129

The petitioner or employer must also complete Form I-129 and send it to USCIS for processing. After completing Form I-129, he or she must pay the fee checks and sign them in black ink.

Submit the forms and the documents file

The petitioner or employer must submit Form I-129 along with the following documents:

  • Photocopies of the foreign employee’s qualifications and certifications
  • A copy of the foreign employee’s passport
  • The company’s Internal Tax Returns
  • A copy of a signed contract between the employer and employee.

H-1B Visa Application Process for Foreign Workers

A prospective foreign worker has to wait until USCIS approves the petition filed by the employer. If the petition is approved, the foreign employee can apply for H-1B Visa following these steps:

  1. Complete Form DS-160.
  2. Pay the H1-B visa fee of $190
  3. Schedule your interview
  4. Go for your interview

What Documents are Required of H-4 Visa Applicant

The following documents will be requested during your interview.

  • A valid passport (original and copies)
  • All previous passports.
  • Your certificates
  • Receipts for H1-B visa fee
  • A photograph
  • Appointment letter for your visa interview
  • A letter from your employer
  • A copy of Form I-129.
  • Curriculum vitae or Resume
  • Bank statements
  • Tax return forms ( if you have worked in the US before)

How Long Does it Take To Process H-1B Visa

The processing time for an H1B visa depends on your country. Immigly.com advises you to contact the US Embassy in your country for details on their H-1B visa processing time.

What is the H1-B Visa Cap?

Each fiscal year, around 65,000 H-1B petitions are approved by the USCIS. However, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for master’s degree holders are not included in this cap. 6,800 out of the 65,000 H-1B petitions are reserved for Chile and Singapore nationals.

Validity of H1-B Visa

H-1B visa is valid for 3 years after which the employee can apply for an extension of 3 years — making it a total of 6 years. You can apply for an Employment-Based green card if you have a valid job offer after working and staying in the US on H1-B Visa for 6 years. For this reason, the H1-B Visa is known as a dual intent visa.

Can I Bring Family on H1-B Visa?

Spouses and children (under 21 years old) of H-1B visa holders can accompany them to the US If they apply and are issued H-4 Visas.

Most people find the H-4 Visa Application Process difficult. For a hassle-free Application Process, you should implore the services of an immigration expert like immigly.com.

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