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.