H1-B visa applicants must have an employment offer at a company in the U.S.
You do not qualify for an H1-B if you do not have an employment offer in the U.S.Allan
The H1-B visa allows recent university graduates to work in the U.S. because they have knowledge useful to U.S. industries. Students earning bachelor’s degrees often do not have work experience, and that’s o.k.
Students graduating with bachelor’s degrees are the most common candidates for the H1-B visa because work experience is not required.
A bachelor’s degree is not always required. Relevant work experience can be enough, equivalent to holding a bachelor’s degree.
H1-B visa Requirements include one of the following:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for the particular position; or
- 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’s degree in a field related to the position; or
- 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 Point System
You must earn at least 12 points to qualify for an H1-B visa. Each 1 year of work experience equals 1 point. Each year of college/university studies equals 3 points. Work experience can be a substitute for a bachelor’s degree. For example, two years of university studies (6 points) plus 6 years of work experience can qualify for an H1-B visa.
Work and studies must be relevant to the job opportunity.Allan
Specialty Occupations that support H1-B applicants include the following:
- STEM: Biotechnology, Chemistry, Computing, Software developer (Software engineer), Software architecture (Solution architecture), Expert in data analysis (Data scientist), Data engineer, Database administrator, Engineer, Audit Manager Electrical engineer (Electrical engineer), The engineer of control systems (Controls engineer), Statistics, Physical sciences.
- Business: Economics, Education, Research, Law, Accounting, Technical Writing, Business Specialties, Engineer for integration of development and operation (DevOps Engineer), Strategic Manager (Strategy Manager), Tax Manager, Analytics Manager, Designer UX (UX designer), Finance Manager, Marketing Manager, Corporate Recruiter Supply Chain Manager, Quality Control Manager (QA manager), Communications Manager, Manager for Regulatory Affairs (Compliance manager).
- Other: Architecture, Journalism, Theology, and the Arts. A rare exception are fashion models, who must be “of distinguished merit and ability” (see also O1 visa).
The employer must pay at least the actual or prevailing wage for your occupation, whichever is higher. The prevailing wage is determined based on the job and geographic location where the employee will work (among other factors).
An annual numerical limit, or cap, is 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Additionally, 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 petitions can be filed up to 6 months before the start date, which is generally April 1 for an October 1 start date. Normally, applications must be filed within the first few days after April 1.
The attorney typically needs at least one month to prepare a good submission.Allan
H1-B applications far outweigh the cap limit. Applications are accepted for processing under a lottery system. It helps to have immigration options in the event your case is filed timely, but not chosen for processing.
Duration of Stay
H1-B visas are non-immigrant visas that must be renewed every three (3) years up to a total of six (6) years. Normally, an H1-B holder must depart the U.S. after six (6) years.
It is possible to continue working beyond six (6) years when applying for an Employment Based Green Card (EB1, EB2, or EB3). A green card grants permanent U.S. residency, without limitation. Many employees gain enough work experience through the H1-B visa to qualify for an EB green card. Others return to school to earn a higher, master’s or doctorate degree to try and qualify for an EB green card in combination with work experience. As with the H1-B visas, there are various ways to qualify for an EB green card.
The H1-B visa can allow for international travel and is a dual intent visa. This means it is possible to be an intending immigrant based on an employment or family based green card application while maintaining employment under the H1-B visa.
The employer pays the government filing fees and legal fees for processing the H1-B visa. The employee may be permitted to pay a government cost for premium processing as well as government and legal costs for dependent family members.
Immediate family members may obtain an H4 visa and join the H1-B employee to reside in the U.S. A family member includes a spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 years. Family members can currently obtain work authorization to work at any job.
Minor children must attend school.
H1-B visas that are obtained at a U.S. consulate abroad are multiple entry visas. Those foreigners already in the U.S. on some other visa may apply in the U.S. for a change of status to an H1-B status.
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