What is an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is probably the most popular and sought-after visas for professionals who wish to come and work in the US. The H-1B visa is also known as the “Professional Worker” visa.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that may be issued to a Canadian or other foreign national who wish to work temporarily in the US in a “specialty occupation”. A speciality occupation is one which usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a professional field, such as law, accounting, engineering, financial analysts, computer science specialists, such as programmers, etc. The H-1B visa can be issued for full or part time work and will also take into consideration previous work experience when determining eligibility.
The H1-B visa program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical and practical application of very specialized knowledge as well as a bachelor’s degree or higher.
How do I apply or the H-1B visa?
You may not file a petition for an H-1B visa on your own, and employer who intends to hire you within the US must do so on your behalf. The USCIS requires the filing by a prospective employer of a Labor Certification Application (LCA) with the DOL, and the processing usually takes a couple of months.
What are the job requirements for an H1-B visa?
The job for which an employer is filing the petition on your behalf must meet the following criteria:
- A Bachelor’s degree, its equivalent, or higher level of education is a minimum entry requirement for the position;
- The degree requirement for the job must be common to the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a specific level of education or knowledge of a field;
- The employer must demonstrate that he will be paying a wage that is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers and must provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other workers.
Can a fashion model apply for an H-1B visa?
Yes, professional models can apply for and obtain an H-1B visa. Although the visa requires a bachelor’s degree in a professional field or higher, fashion models do not need to meet this criterion, and instead have to demonstrate “extraordinary ability or merit” to qualify for the visa. This means that the model has reached a certain level of fame or national or international recognition in the field of modeling.
Can an entrepreneur obtain an H-1B visa?
Under certain conditions, a professional who wishes to start a business in the US, can sponsor themselves under the H-1B visa to be employed at their own business. For example, a computer engineer who specialized in software development and who wishes to operate a “start-up” business in the US is eligible to apply for the H-1B visa.
How long is the H-1B visa valid for? Can I extend my stay?
AN H-1B visa holder may be admitted to the US for a period of up to three years. This period may be extended to a total maximum of six years.
Is there a cap on the number of H-1B visas the government issues?
This program has an annual cap of 65,000 applications per fiscal year. An additional 20,000 petitions may be filed for individuals who hold a master’s degree or higher. The USCIS begins accepting application on April 1st of every calendar year.
Can I come to the US if I’m a family member of an H-1B visa holder?
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of an H-1B visa holder may enter the US with them under an H-4 nonimmigrant status.