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H-1B Visas: FAQs

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The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations temporarily. Employers often use the H-1B visa program to hire foreign workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. If you’re interested in obtaining an H-1B visa, you may have countless questions. Get answers to the most common questions below.

What Is an H-1B Visa?

An H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations in the United States. This type of visa is popular among U.S. employers who need to hire foreign workers in STEM fields such as technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Who Is Eligible for an H-1B Visa?

Qualifying applicants must have the appropriate qualifications and meet other criteria to be eligible for an H-1B visa. Generally, applicants need to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in their areas of specialty and demonstrate that they possess relevant job skills.

How Can I Apply for an H-1B Visa?

To apply for an H-1B visa, employers must first file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor and then submit a petition to U.S Immigration Services. The petition must be accompanied by documentation that proves the applicant is qualified for the position being offered.

What Are the Requirements for an H-1B Visa?

To qualify for an H-1B visa, applicants must demonstrate that they possess relevant job skills and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of specialty. Additionally, the position offered must be considered a “specialty occupation” by U.S Immigration Services, requiring specialized knowledge and experience.

How Long Can I Stay in the United States with an H-1B Visa?

An H-1B visa is usually valid for three years, although extensions are available for up to six years. Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis and require the applicant to prove they still meet H-1B visa requirements.

Can I Bring My Family with Me to the United States on an H-1B Visa?

Applicants who hold an H-1B visa can bring their spouse and children (under 21 years of age) to the United States with them on H-4 visas. The H-4 visa allows them to remain in the United States for the same period of time as the H-1B visa holder.

What Are the Restrictions on an H-1B Visa?

H-1B visas have various restrictions, such as a limit on how many years they can be extended and how long holders can remain outside the United States while still maintaining valid status. Additionally, visa holders are only allowed to work for the employer that sponsored their H-1B visa.

8. Can I Work for a Different Employer Once an H-1B Visa Is Approved?

In most cases, H-1B visa holders are not allowed to switch employers and must remain with their initial petitioning employer until their H-1B status is revoked or expires. However, there is an exception where certain workers may be eligible to switch employers without having to go through the entire visa process again. Speak with an experienced attorney to understand your options.

9. What Happens if My Employer Terminates My Employment While I am in the United States on an H-1B Visa?

If an H-1B visa holder’s employment is terminated before their visa expires, they must leave the United States within a certain time frame or face possible deportation proceedings.

Do you have more questions about H-1B visas? Get in touch with our team at Akula & Associates P.C. today and schedule a consultation: (844) 299-5003!