About H-1B Visa
What is an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for foreign employees who work in jobs that are considered “specialty occupations” based on the requirements of Public Law 101-28 (1989). It is commonly known as the “work visa” and is one of the most sought-after for international students. Holders of the H-1B Visa are granted rights to live and work in the US for up to 6 years.<br>
The H-1B Visa requires a lottery to obtain eligibility; this visa classification has a total quota of 85,000 that can be applied for each year, including a 65,000 regular cap and an additional 20,000 cap for petitions filed with a Master’s degree or higher from a US institution of higher education (Master’s cap). The lottery consists of two rounds: the first round will choose at random 65,000 applicants from the entire application pool, and the second round draws an additional 20,000 applicants with an American Master’s degree who did not secure eligibility in the first round. Applicants holding a Master’s degree will have obvious advantage as they have two drawing opportunities in the lottery. In this light, we recommend holders of a Master’s or higher degree from an US institution to apply with the highest degree received in order to maximize probability of obtaining the eligibility to apply for the H-1B visa.
Who can apply for the H-1B Visa?
1. Applicants for the H-1B visas should possess an “outstanding ability” in their relevant field of specialty. Applicants should have at least an undergraduate or equivalent degree. The equivalency requirement generally refers to sufficient years of relevant work experience. The USCIS considers every 3 years of work experience to be equivalent to 1 year of university education.
2. It is required for the H-1B applicant to be working in a “specialty occupation”. The definition of a specialty occupation has a minimum employment requirement of 1.) Having qualified highly-specialized body of knowledge in theoretical and practical application 2.) An undergraduate degree or equivalent in a specific specialty outlined in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) by the Department of Labor. Combining the information summarizing the education and employment requirements provided in the OOH, the USCIS uses a series of criteria to evaluate whether your job meets the definition of a “specialty occupation”.
3. Employers are required to pay the H-1B worker no less than the prevailing wage stipulated by the Department of Labor, or the wage paid to similarly qualified workers of the same company; that is to say, the employer must provide sponsorship to complete the H-1B visa application.
4. But of course, the most important point is that you would have to ‘luckily’ win the eligibility to apply for the H-1B Visa during the lottery process.
1. It is required to determine the industry you belong to is classified as a specialty occupation, and that your job title and relevant duties performed befit your qualifications and the currently implemented wage requirements set forth by the Department of Labor.
2. The employer or the agent must submit the I-129 Form (petitions for all H-class temporary workers) to the USCIS on behalf of the applicant. Please note that as this is a job application, the applicant is not allowed to apply on their own.3. Please patiently await the outcome of the H-1B lottery after your application materials have been readied. Should you secure the eligibility to apply for the visa in the lottery, the employer or the agent will forward the application to the local USCIS office.
Normally, it takes around 4 months for the application to be reviewed; if you chose the expedited service, your application will typically be reviewed within 15 days. We wish you good luck!
Doctrine of “dual intent” for the H-1B Visa
The H-1B Visa is the only non-immigrant visa that benefits from the doctrine of “dual intent”. Generally, non-immigrant visas prohibit the applicant to have immigration inclinations; however, despite the non-immigrant classification of the H-1B Visa, its holders are permitted to take steps toward obtaining permanent residence in the US. In later stages, applicants can initiate EB2, EB3, and other green card application procedures according to their needs.
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