H1-B visa

Visa for specialty occupation workers

The H1-B visa allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers with certain skills in specialty occupations, such as science, medicine, architecture, engineering, law, education, theology or art.

According to Section § 101 (a) (15) (H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the H1B is granted for an initial period of up to three years, and is renewable for a further period of three years.

U.S. employers can begin the process by filing a petition on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, up to six months before the beginning date of the visa. The candidate must have a formal job offer and must receive at least the minimum wage, as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Only a total of 85.000 H-1B visas are available each fiscal year.

The employer must demonstrate that the company has the financial ability to pay the minimum wage.

The employment must be a "specialty occupation", a profession that involves the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.

The job must meet one of the following requirements:

  • the work is so complex or unique that can only be performed by an individual holding a bachelor's or higher degree;
  • the minimum requirement for the job is a degree or its equivalent;
  • the nature of the work is so specific and complex that the knowledge required to perform the tasks are usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree.

The candidate must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a four-year Bachelor's Degree, or higher degree' or its equivalent obtained a in an accredited college or university;
  • Have an unrestricted license, with full certification authorizing the exercise of the job in the country of origin;
  • Obtain a certification of academic equivalence by some Organizations in the United States, for workers and professionals without a degree, showing at least 12 years of professional experience in a specialized field.

A combination of academic studies and experience is also acceptable. This is how it is calculated:

  • For each year of study at University/College you get 3 points
  • For each year of work experience you get 1 point

People getting a score of 12, can qualify for an H-1B visa.

Self-sponsored H1B Visa

A business owner can, under certain circumstances, get an H-1B visa through the company he or she had formed, providing that he or she has the academic or professional qualifications described above. This is also referred as H-1B Visa for entrepreneurs.

Family of an H-1B Visa holder

The H-1B holder may be accompanied by his or her spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) with the H-4 visa. The H-4 visa is granted by the USCIS and does not enable to work or to get a Social Security Number and work authorization. This visa only authorizes to go to school, to get a driver's license and to open a bank account for the period of stay in the United States.

As long as the owner of H-1B remains in a legal status, the H-4 holder is allowed to remain in the United States.

Speak to a New Jersey Immigration Lawyer for experienced guidance in the H1B Visa process.

Internet Marketing Experts The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.