H-1B

 

The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa employers can petition for on behalf of foreign applicants in certain specific occupations.  Each year, USCIS issues 65,000 H-1B visas, plus an additional 20,000 to applicants with master’s degrees. The first of the aforementioned specific occupations are those in ‘specialty’ occupations, or careers that typically require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, whether based on industry-wide standards, the complexity of the job, the needs of the employer, or the necessary knowledge required to perform specific job duties.  The second of these occupations are foreign researchers collaborating with the U.S.’ Department of Defense on research & development projects, and the third are fashion models who, over the course of their career, have proven “distinguished merit or ability,” per USCIS. 

 

Those applying for H-1B status will need to prove that they have attained at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent, depending on the field); they will be employed directly by their petitioner, who will also submit a Labor Condition Application to USCIS; they receive industry-standard wages for their work; and that there are still H-1B visa numbers available, as USCIS places caps on how many applications are approved by fiscal year.  H-1Bs last for up to three years, though they can be extended to six years.  

 

In order to extend H-1B status beyond 6 years, the H-1B employee must have an immigrant visa petition approved on his or her behalf.

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