The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows qualified people to live and work in the U.S. for a period of three years. The visa can usually be renewed for an additional three years, too, for a total of six years. Moreover, holders of H-1B visas can be accompanied by a spouse and minor children.
There are a limited number of H-1B visas available each year, and applications must be in by March 20, 2020. Now is the time to get started.
Who can qualify for an H-1B visa?
In order to get an H-1B visa, you need to have an employee relationship with a U.S. employer who is willing to petition on your behalf. There are three groups of people who can get H-1B visas:
People in specialty occupations. These are fields that ordinarily require a bachelor’s degree or higher, and where jobs are hard to fill with U.S.-based candidates. This is the most common type of H-1B visa.
People involved in Department of Defense research and development projects. These are people the U.S. Department of Defense wants to hire for a cooperative research and development project.
Fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.
What counts as a specialty occupation?
Generally, you would be working in a scientific or technical field, although that is not required. In order to be considered a specialty occupation for the H-1B visa, your job must meet one of these criteria:
- A bachelor’s or higher degree is normally the minimum requirement for the position
- The degree requirement is common for the position in the industry, or the job is so unique and complex that only someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field could perform the job
- The employer normally requires a bachelor’s degree or higher for the position
- The duties are so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform them is typically associated with a bachelor’s degree or higher
What does the employer need to do?
To sponsor you for an H-1B visa, the employer must complete and submit Form I-129, “Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker,” along with the related supplement forms and all required evidence. The employer must also submit a filing fee.
In addition, the petitioning employer must submit proof that a labor condition application (LCA) has been certified by the U.S. Department of Labor. Essentially, this is evidence that there are not enough qualified applicants from within the U.S.
Finally, your employer must pay you at least the prevailing wage for the occupation.
What happens next?
As long as the completed petition was filed before the March 20, 2020 deadline, your employer should receive a receipt notice and you should receive a notice with a date for a biometric services appointment. Ultimately, you will receive a written notice of whether your visa was approved.
If you are interested in an H-1B visa and have an employer willing to sponsor you, contact Yew Immigration Law Group for assistance. We have years of experience helping people obtain visas to live and work in the U.S.