Professional Workers: The H-1B Visa | HB-1 Visa Immigration Lawyer
The H-1B Visa is a visa granted to non-immigrants of the United States. The H-1B visa allows an American company to hire a foreign national for up to six years, and it may lead to a Green Card.
In order for an H-1B Visa to be issued, both employers and employees must meet specific requirements under the U.S. immigration laws.
What are the Employer Requirements for an H-1B Visa?
- The job offer must be in a specialty occupation such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, etc. A specialty occupation is one that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty.
- There are criteria for wages offered and the actual job performed.
- No U.S. citizen or resident can be available for the job.
- The petition must be submitted by the company (not the employee or any other agency).
What are the Employee Requirements for an H-1B Visa?
- The employee applying for the visa must have at least a Bachelors degree and he/she must have a specialized skill in the field for which he/she will be working. Finally, the applicant must also be able to speak and read English.
Do employees have any rights or benefits under the H-1B Visa program?
Yes. Foreign applicants who receive an H-1B visa may have the following rights:
- Sick Leave
- Maternity Leave
- Paternity Leave
- Spousal Entry on the H-4B visa.
Can the recipient of an H-1B visa attempt to immigrate permanently to the United States?
Yes. An H-1B visa holder can be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status without adversely affecting his or her H-1B status. This is known as "dual intent."
Does the H-1B Visa have any limits?
According to the USCIS, the current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B non-immigrants are subject to this annual cap. For example, non-profit organizations are excluded from the annual cap. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year. During the 2008 fiscal year, over 130,000 applications were received for the H-1B visa.
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