The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa category that allows U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. It is designed for individuals who have specialized knowledge and a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Here is an overview of the H-1B visa category:
Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for an H-1B visa, you must meet the following criteria: a. You must have a job offer from a U.S. employer in a specialty occupation. b. The position you are being hired for requires specialized knowledge and a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in a specific field of study. c. You must possess the necessary qualifications, including the required degree or its equivalent.
Employer Sponsorship: The U.S. employer is responsible for sponsoring your H-1B visa by filing a petition on your behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The employer must demonstrate that the position qualifies as a specialty occupation and that they will pay you the prevailing wage for the role.
Cap and Lottery System: The H-1B visa program has an annual numerical cap on the number of visas that can be issued each fiscal year. Currently, the regular cap is set at 65,000 visas, with an additional 20,000 visas available for individuals who have earned a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution. If the number of applications exceeds the cap, USCIS conducts a random lottery to select the petitions that will proceed for adjudication.
Labor Condition Application (LCA): Before filing the H-1B petition, the employer must obtain an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The LCA ensures that the employer will comply with certain labor standards, including paying the prevailing wage and providing appropriate working conditions for the H-1B worker.
Duration of Stay: The initial period of stay for an H-1B visa holder is typically three years, with the possibility of extensions up to a maximum total stay of six years. There are certain exceptions and provisions that allow for extended stay beyond the six-year limit under specific circumstances.
Dependents: Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany you to the United States under the H-4 visa category. While H-4 dependents are allowed to live in the United States, they are generally not permitted to work unless they obtain proper work authorization.
It is important to note that the H-1B visa category has specific requirements, limitations, and a complex application process. It is advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney or professional who can guide you through the process, assist with document preparation, and ensure compliance with the requirements of the H-1B visa category. They can help you and your employer navigate the application process, address any issues that may arise, and increase your chances of a successful H-1B visa application.
Immigrant Law-H1 - Visa
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