An H-1B is a temporary work visa for people with a specialty occupation, like architecture, engineering, math, physical sciences, medicine, health, education, business, accounting, law, theology, the arts, and even fashion modeling. If you have a bachelor’s degree and a temporary offer of employment in the U.S., you may be eligible to apply for an H-1B!
Why an H-1B Visa Lawyer
- Preparation and submission of an extensive application packet, including forms, testimony letters, evaluations, company information, and more depending on the Applicant’s qualifications.
- Detailed attorney cover letter outlining the legal requirements, the Applicant’s Background, and how the applicant meets all the requirements using their qualifications.
- Strategic advice from beginning to end, from registering through the new H-1B electronic system, to how to meet the requirements, and attorney provides assistance and oversees every single piece of evidence.
Requirements for H-1B Visa Application
To apply for the H-1B, you’ll need to provide evidence that your work qualifies as a specialty occupation, as well as evidence of your education and qualifications. Sometimes, a combination of training and experience can be used to show that you have a specialty occupation.
You’ll also need a copy of any required license or other official permission to work in the state where you intend to live, and a contract showing the terms of your employment with your employer.
Benefits of H-1B Visa
- You can get an extension on the visa for a total of 6 years;
- Can also get visas for dependents (spouse and children under 21);
- It is a dual intent visa so you can apply for permanent residency;
- You can change your employer; and
- It is not necessary to maintain a foreign residence.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A specialty occupation usually requires a Bachelor’s degree (typically a 4-year degree) or higher (a Master’s or PhD, to qualify for the Master’s cap), and proof that the occupation cannot be performed without this specialized degree. You may qualify for a specialty occupation visa without a Bachelor’s degree if you can show that you have experience, training, or other kinds of education equivalent to such a degree in your specialty.
Spouses and children under 21 of H-1B holders are eligible to receive H-4 visas. You can apply for the visa before arriving in the US, or once you are here, by filing an I-539 form. Spouses on H-4 are eligible to apply for work authorization when there is an approved I-140 petition for the H-1B visa holder.
The H-1B is a dual intent visa. This means that you can apply for other visas while you are here on the H-1B, including visas that lead to permanent residence.
As an F-1 student, you can apply to adjust your status.
If your H-1B status has not been approved before your F-1 status ends, don’t worry! The cap-gap extension applies to such cases, allowing students to stay in the U.S. and work until your H-1B status is approved. The cap-gap extension lasts until September 30 of the year in which the H-1B application is filed (this is the day before the start of the new fiscal year).
The H-1B can be granted for a stay up to 3 years, and there’s the possibility for an extension for another 3 years, for a total of 6 years.
You can stay in the U.S. after your H-1B has expired if the following situations apply:
1) You filed an Immigrant Petition or Labor Certification before your 5th anniversary of having the H-1B, and the adjustment of status application is still pending. You can then renew the H-1B in one year increments until a decision has been made on your application for permanent residence.
2) You have an approved Immigrant Petition but cannot file the adjustment of status application because your priority date is not current. You may be entitled to a 3 year H-1B extension until a decision.
3) You were outside the United States during the six years of your H-1B visa validity. You may use those days to extend your H-1B visa beyond the 6-year limit.
H1-B Visa holders can apply for a Green Card and permanent residence if they are eligible for EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 employment visas.
EB-1 Visas are for those with extraordinary ability in their field, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives and managers. You do not need an employer or offer of employment to be eligible for an EB-1.
EB-2 Visas are for those with exceptional ability in their field, advanced degrees, or who qualify for national interest waivers. You will need an offer of employment and obtain Labor Certification for this visa, unless you qualify for a national interest waiver.
Eb-3 Visas are for skilled workers, professionals, and unskilled workers. You will need an offer of employment and obtain Labor Certification for this visa, unless you qualify for a national interest waiver.
If you get married to an U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident while you are on a H-1B Visa, your spouse can petition for you.