In terms of total geographical area, the US one of the largest countries in the entire world. It has a lot to offer–from national parks to snow- covered mountains, high skyscrapers to attractive business centers. It’s no surprise that the nation is a popular destination especially among those who wish to spend some good time, and acquire international experience.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the apex visa and immigration body of the nation, has introduced many short-term and long-term visas and the H-1B category is just one of them. It is basically a non-immigrant visa and allows US companies to recruit foreign employees in occupations that require both technical and theoretical expertise in a certain field of study, such as engineering, science, architecture, medicine and mathematics.
Once the petition is approved, the USCIS initially issues a visa for up to six years. It is relatively easy to apply for H-1B Visa, especially for those companies who wish to recruit foreign staff for long term.
How to avail visa under H-1B Category?
On behalf of the alien, the company or organization files an H-1B petition and primary worker is the main beneficiary. No foreign employee may file their own petition. The number of visas to be issued each year depends on the annual cap which is known as the ‘H1B cap’ which is fixed to 85,000 in total. Every year, 65,000 new visas under the H-1B category are issued, and rest 20,000 visas are issued to those who have an advance degree from a US based education institution. Once the number of H1B cap has been achieved, the USCIS stops accepting new petitions.
What are the eligibility criteria for H-1B Visa?
The H-1B category is structured to meet the growing demand of skilled professionals in special occupations. To qualify, the fulfilling one of these is necessary:
- The alien must have at least bachelor’s degree, however higher degree is an added advantage.
- The requirement of the education qualification is common or the nature of the job is complex that needs to be performed by applicants with a certain degree.
- The US employer requires a specific degree holder for the position.
- The nature of the job is so complex and tough that it is usually performed by the specific degree holder, i.e., Bachelors or higher degree.
To qualify, the alien must meet one of following criteria in a specialty occupation:
- The alien must have completed Bachelors or higher degree that is required to meet the requirement of an occupation.
- The alien possesses a foreign degree that is equivalent to US Bachelor’s degree in a special occupation.
- The alien must have an unrestricted state license, certification or registration which authorizes them to involve themselves with specialize occupation.
- Holds education degree, experience and training in the special occupation that is required to take up the responsibilities and have direct experience in the same.
Even though H-1B is recognized as a non-immigrant visa, it falls under the rare category that is also recognized as dual intent which means the H-1B Visa holders can apply for Green Card (Permanent Residence).