The H1B Visa is a very popular visa that allows employers to temporarily hire qualified personnel who have specialized skills to perform speciality occupations. This is a very popular visa, and each fiscal year there are several people apply for this visa. There is, however, a limitation of as many as 65000 new visas that are available each year, with an extra 20000 for those individuals who have completed a master’s degrees.
This is a work permit that allows foreign workers to go to the United States and work for American companies. It is however important that the foreigner works specifically in the field that requires specialised knowledge, for which the employer cannot find a US-based worker.
This is how you get an H1B visa
When applying for an H-1B visa, the applicant must get sponsored by the American company that has hired them. The employer needs to pay the visa fees first and after that, they will have to submit the required paperwork on behalf of the applicant. The H1B visa is designed for foreign nationals who have specialized skills to work in a speciality occupation.
Requirements that have to be met to get the H1B visa
The employee needs to have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.
The job that the applicant is applying for requires specialized skills, and the applicant needs to have atleast bachelor’s degree or higher which is the minimum entry requirement for the position.
Finally, the position must require both theoretical as well as practical knowledge, usually obtained in an institution of higher learning.
The application procedure of an H1B visa
The employer has to electronically register an application for the H1B employee. If selected at the lottery for the annual cap, the employer has to file for an H1B petition, along with a Labor Condition Application that is certified by the Department of Labor.
Benefits of an H-1B visa for foreign professionals
Among all visa options, the H1b visa is the one that offers several benefits, not only for their holders but also for spouses and children. It is for this reason that every year there are so many foreign workers who try to come to the US to work in a specialized field. The benefits of H1B visa are discussed below:
The H1B visa allows its holders to work for several employers, provided that all of them have certified LCAs. The visa holder can also have multiple jobs. They also have the option of working part-time or full-time.
The most important requirement for the H1B visa is to have a certified LCA. In a labour certification, the employer makes certain attestations and one of them is to comply with paying the H-1B worker a wage that is no less than the wage that is paid to the similarly qualified native workers. This sort of requirement guarantees that hiring an alien worker will not adversely affect the wages and work conditions of US workers on similar activities, and also guarantees the fact that the H1B worker will not be underpaid in comparison to the native workers.
Period of stay
The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to stay in the US for 3 years, and there is also a three-year extension period allowed. After the completion of the 6 years, the beneficiary will also be able to apply for a one-year extension, provided that a labour certification application was filed 365 days before they apply for the extension, and documentation that the employer has filed a I-140 petition on their behalf within 180 days of the labour certification.
A very big benefit for the H-1B worker is the possibility of bringing their spouse and children to the US under the H-4 status. The H-4 visa will be linked to the H-1B. People under the H-4 status will be able to live and attend school in the US and, in some cases, the spouses will also be able to obtain a work permit when the H1B beneficiary holds an approved Form I-140 or has been granted an extension over 6 years under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21). Those under the H-4 status can also get permanent residence and get a green card.
The H1B visa holders are allowed to accept a new job if the prospective employer files a new H-1B petition. Since the employee is already under a valid status, the employees can begin working for the new employer as soon as the petition is filed. They do not have to wait for the new application to get approved.
Getting an H1B visa is not necessarily easy, because, it will take some time and preparation to get it. But, this should not discourage those qualified professionals to get their work visas as there are multiple benefits of getting an H1B visa.