Out of the various types of US visas, the H1B is a nonimmigrant type. It allows the holder to reside within the country based on their employment. The occupation in question must be based within the US and a specialty. The definition of specialty occupation, as given by the USCIS, is a job that requires the employee to handle specialized and complex tasks. Due to the knowledge needed in such a job, the visa applicant must have a bachelor’s or higher degree. H1B visa can be awarded to engineers, journalists, doctors, researchers, lawyers, businessmen, etc.
Due to the huge number of multinational companies, H1B is the one of the most widely utilized visa types. Finally, a petition for this visa comes via the employer and not the immigrant.
H1B Visa Quotas
With some exceptions, the USCIS caps the number of H1B visas at 65,000 in a year. Out of that number:
- 6800 are given to Chileans and Singaporeans under the special H1-B1 visa
In addition to the 65,000, about 20,000 visas go to applicants with a master’s or higher degrees. Exemptions sometimes also include those working in higher education, non-profit organizations, and research.
The H1B Visa Lottery makes it impossible for an applicant to ascertain whether the USCIS will choose them or not.
How long is the H1B visa valid for?
Even though there may be room for an extension, the H1B visa allows its holders to remain within the US for three years. For those who want to continue apply for permanent residency on completion of the first year allowed to them.
After that, the USCIS revokes their H-1B petition approval. Remaining within the country means an individual is unlawfully present and can get them barred for three years. They are, however, allowed a 60-day grace period during which they must either apply for a green card or find a new employer.
Benefits of Having a Master’s Degree
For those who have a master’s degree, there are two chances of winning the visa lottery. The first instance is when the USCIS considers master’s applicants only. On meeting the capacity on the master’s pool, the applicant’s name will go in the general pool of the lottery.
H1B Visa Requirements that make an individual eligible for the visa are:
- Equivalent of or a bachelor’s/master’s degree OR 12 years of experience in their specialized field
- Degree relevant to the job
- Specialty occupation awaiting them in the US
- Deep knowledge in the relevant field
- Lack of qualified national applicants for the position
H1B Visa Process
Below, we present an outline for the H1B acquisition process:
Find an H1B Sponsor
The first step involves the applicant finding an employer who will sponsor them. F1 visa holders should confirm if their employers can offer sponsorship or not. Those with L1 visas should consider getting the opinion of an immigration attorney for their specific case.
US Employer Files the H1B Petition
Since the onus of the filing is on the employer and not the applicant, the employer must file the H1B petition and pay its fee.
Employer Submits the Labor Conditions Application
The employer will also need to submit the Labor Conditions Application (LCA), in which they will attest they won’t violate certain requirements. Failure can result in fines and a bar on sponsoring for the employer. The application needs approval from the DOL.
Employer Files Form I-129
Also known as the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, this will again be for the employer to file at the USCIS along with the DOL-certified application.
Visit the US Embassy Office or Consulate
The potential employee will have their interview at the consulate on the scheduled date. They must bring with them:
- Passports (old and current)
- A photograph
- Fee receipts
- Visa appointment letter
- Petition-related documents
Typically, H1B Visa Fees include amounts for:
- A Base Filing
- ACWIA fee (if the employer has 1-25 full-time employees)
- Additional ACWIA fee (if they have 26 or more employees working full time)
- Fraud prevention and detection
- Premium processing (optional)
All of the H1B Visa Cost will be covered by the employer.
The loved ones of the H1B visa holder may join them in the US for the same duration. Only dependent family members, i.e., children younger than 21 or spouse, have that opportunity. The Visa H1B is one of the rare visas to have this feature.
To make it happen, they will file an H4 visa application with the H1B visa application — or after the latter is submitted. They’ll need:
- Copy of the DS-160 submitted online
- Two photographs – visa-styled
- Receipt of paid fee for the application
- Copy of visa, forms I-129 and I-797, passport, letter of employment, letters of experience, and the LCA of the H1B visa holder
- Original birth/marriage certificate
- Proof of wedding
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
The lottery only gives applicants one chance. If you want to make that shot and prevent unnecessary and expensive delays from happening, you’ll need Eric Price handling your case for you. Get in touch with him today!