H-1B Visa For Professional In Specialty Occupation
- H-1B Filing Process
- Definition of Specialty Occupation for H-1B Visa
- Annual Quota of H-1B Visa
- Required Documentation for H-1B Visa Petition:
- Required Documentation for H-1B Visa at the US Embassy
H-1B visa is a non-immigrant US work visa used by employers to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in a profession and a bachelor's degree. Typical H-1B occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors. The H-1B visa program also includes certain fashion models of high caliber.
H-1B visa allows a US employer to fill a position requiring the minimum of a bachelor degree in the particular field with a professional worker. The prospective H-1B applicant must possess the bachelor degree form a US University or an equivalent foreign degree. In some cases, a combination of studies and relevant experience may substitute for the degree if it is determined by a credentials expert to qualify the foreign professional.
There are two main requirements to apply for the H-1B visa: first, the employer must demonstrate the need for a worker in a specialty occupation as the minimum capability to perform the job; and second, the H-1B applicant must have the required degree, or its equivalent, in a subject pertaining to the position.
If you want to apply for an H-1B visa, if you are considering whether the H-1B visa is the appropriate visa for you or for another employee of the Company, please contact us or take the time to complete the H1B Visa Assessment Form. You may also complete the General Assessment Form if you are not sure which visa would be suitable for you.
A Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, which is explained in more details in US Work Visas page, approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is a necessary prerequisite for obtaining the H-1B visa at the US Embassy or US Consulate. If approved, the earliest theH-1B visa holder can start working is October, which is the beginning of the Immigration Fiscal Year.
“Specialty Occupation” is the minimum requisite that an occupation must have in order to apply for H1B visa. Specialty occupation according to the provisions is one that requires theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge to perform the occupation and which requires at least a bachelor's degree in a specific specialty as a minimum requirement to be admitted into the profession in the United States.
The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B prospective applicants are subject to this annual cap. Prospective H-1B workers who have received an offer of employment, by institutions of higher education, or affiliated nonprofit entity, or by a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization are exempt from the annual cap of 65000 visas. The H-1B Visa Reform Act implemented in 2004 makes available extra 20,000 H-1B visas for prospective workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution.
April 1 of each year is the earliest date that USCIS will accept Petitions for H-1B visas. If UCIS within the fist 7 days of April receives more than the annual cap of 65000 H-1B visas available, the USCIS will hold a random lottery to select the petitions which, regardless of the merit and content, will go to the adjudication stage. The other applications which are not selected by the random selection will be returned to the petitioner.
Our US attorney will assist H-1B visa applicants and the prospective employers in completing the necessary documents and forms, and in providing the appropriate supporting documents. H-1B visa applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable for H-1B visa by providing:
- A "labor condition application" (LCA) certified US Department of Labor. The employer must attest to certain wage and working conditions. The LCA must meet many requirements such as the prevailing wage issue.
- Petition for Non-immigrant Worker with proper Supplements;
- A company letter from the petitioning employer supporting the petition
- a bachelor's or higher degree which must be normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position;
- evidence that the degree requirement is common in the industry among similar organizations, or the position is so complex that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree;
- evidence that the employer normally requires the degree for the position; or
- evidence that the nature of the duties are so complex that knowledge required to perform them is usually obtained through a bachelors level or higher degree
- Filing fee
Our US attorney will identify the most suitable supporting documents depending on your circumstances.
Once the H-1B Petition has been approved by USCIS, our US attorney will assist applicants to apply for the H-1B visa at the US Embassy or Consulate in the home country, or a certain third countries. The documents and information needed when applying for the H-1B visa are:
1. Non-immigrant visa application;
3. Photograph meeting certain requirements;
4. Visa application fee;
5. Approval Notice of the H-1B Petition; and
6. A full copy of the H-1B Petition including all supporting documentation