The H-1B Visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa that is available for foreign workers with specialty occupations who, along with their petitioning employers, meet certain requirements. A specialty occupation typically requires a bachelor degree or higher or the equivalent of such degree based on experience.
Important notes/dates for the H-1B visa:
- An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filling the petition, unless the petition is exempt from numerical limits.
- The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. masters degree or higher are exempt from the cap.
- H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education (or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities), a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.
- Cap numbers are often used up very quickly, so it is important to plan in advance if you will be filing for an H-1B visa that is subject to the annual H-1B numerical cap.
- The U.S. government ‘s fiscal year starts on Oct.1. H-1B and petitions can be filed up to 6 months before the start date, which is generally April 1 for an October 1 start date.
To qualify for an H-1B Visa, the employer and beneficiary generally must demonstrate:
- The petitioning employer has control over the beneficiary employee’s work;
- The beneficiary employee possesses either a bachelor degree, higher degree or equivalent;
- The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor degree in a field related to the position;
- The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree;
- The position is a specialty occupation related to the beneficiary’s field of study; and
- The beneficiary will be paid the higher of the actual and the prevailing wage for the position.
Please contact The Law Office of Erin Elliott for detailed information on the H-1B visa application and process.