The H1B Visa is a United States nonimmigrant visa. It allows a U.S. company to employ a foreign individual for up to six years and it may provide an avenue to a Green Card (permanent resident status).
The H1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows business professionals to work in the United States for a specific amount of time. The purpose of the H1B Visa is to give U.S. employers the opportunity to hire foreign professionals if a U.S. citizen or resident is not available. In order for the H1B Visa to be issued, both the employer and employee must satisfy specific requirements.
- The job offer must be in a specialty occupation such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, etc.
- Must pay prevailing wage
- Must have an approved labor condition application
- The petition must be submitted by the company (not the employee)
- Employer must pay most of the fees associated with the application process, filing fees for most employers are $2325 and legal fees generally run from $1600 to $2500 per petition
- Employer may be required to pay transportation out of the US
- A Bachelor degree or degree equivalent with a combination of education and work experience
- Specialized skill
H-1B Visa restrictions and limits:
- 65,000 visas are issued every year bachelor degree
- 20,000 visas are issued every year Advanced Degree
- Non-profit organizations are excluded from the annual cap
- Higher education institutions are excluded from the annual cap
- H-1B visas are issued for a maximum of 6 years in three year increments or less
- The six year limitation may be extended if a green card process is started and pending
The cap is over a government fiscal year which runs from October 1 to September 30. In many years the cap is oversubscribed in early April each year six months before the employment start date of October 1.
Transfer of employers is permitted in many cases with a filing of an H-1B petition
Changes to the current program are expected if Comprehensive Immigration reform legislation is passed included a raise in the cap