H-1B Visa: Person in Specialty Occupation
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H visas are often the preferred choice for most professional companies who want to temporarily bring in professionals with specialized knowledge, although there are yearly limits on the number of visas available.
These visas must be obtained through the worker's prospective employer, who must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An employer must obtain a labor condition application as a part of the visa process.
Who is the H-1B visa for?
H-1B Visas (Person in Specialty Occupation): The professional must be hired in a specialty occupation that requires a Bachelor's degree or higher, or its equivalent. Examples of specialty occupations for H-1B visas include engineers, architects, lawyers, physicians, and other professional positions.
What Are the Requirements for H-1B Visa?
To apply for the H-1B visa, the applicant and the circumstances must meet the requirements. To be eligible, these requirements must be met:
The applicant has a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or the foreign equivalent
The applicant must have a deep, thorough knowledge in the required field.
The employer must show that there is a lack of qualified applicants in the United States.
The degree needed for the position is a typical requirement for it.
The position must require a professional or those in a specialty occupation.
How Long Can an H-1B Visa Holder Stay in the U.S.?
H-1B visa holders can stay in the country for a maximum of 6 years. H-1B visa holders are also allowed dual intent, which allows them to apply for legal permanent residency while entering the U.S.
H-1B Specialty Occupations
There are certain requirements that must be met in order for an individual to qualify as a worker with a “specialty occupation.” Some of those requirements include:
The job must meet at least one of the following:
- Must have at least a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent);
- Degree must be common to the industry, or job’s complexity requires it to be performed only by someone with a particular type of degree;
- It is common for the employer to require someone with this type of degree for this position;
- The complexity of the position is most often associated with someone who has obtained at least a Bachelor’s degree.
The applicant must meet one of the following:
- Has obtained at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university;
- Has obtained a foreign degree that is the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or higher;
- Has obtained a certification authorizing them to practice the specialty occupation;
- Has education or training that amounts to the equivalent of a degree.
How to Petition for an H-1B Visa
To petition for an H-1B Visa, the employer must complete several forms, pay fees, and provide evidence. The employer must complete this for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The LCA is valid for 3 years of employment.
- After the LCA is approved, the employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker. Make sure to complete the related Supplements.
- Submit the Filing Fee(s). Follow the instructions per Form I-129.
- Submit evidence and all supporting documentation to prove the applicant’s education and relationship to the employer. This includes educational history, experience evaluation, training certificates, resume, employment agreement, etc.
- Sign and file the Form I-129. Make sure you file it at the correct location according to the instructions on the form.
The filing fee is generally $460, however, additional fees may be applicable depending on your nonimmigrant classification. The processing time can be up to 3 to 4 months.
What Happens After You Apply for an H-1B Visa?
Your application will be processed when it is received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When it is approved, the applicant must process their visa at their home country’s US embassy or consulate. This may take 2 to 3 days but may be different depending on where it is being processed. The immigrant and employer will receive:
- A receipt notice for the Form I-129
- A notice for a biometric services appointment date.
- A written notice of the decision.
Contact an H-1B Visa Lawyer Today
Akula & Associates has been handling H visa filings for years and can assist you through the process. Visa filings are notoriously complex and processing can take time. Entrust the details to an experienced immigration and visa law firm like ours. Contact our firm at your earliest convenience.