The H-1B visa category is one of the most prestigious options available at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Under H-1B status, eligible foreign individuals can temporarily immigrate to America to work in specialty occupations.
As expected, the eligibility criteria for this visa require applicants to adhere to strict requirements, meaning any failure to comply with the standard set by USCIS results in denial.
In this article, you will discover the requirements and processes involved in obtaining an H-1B visa in the United States.
Who Qualifies for an H1B Visa? – The Basics
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that applies to foreign nationals who wish to perform services in specialty occupations.
This category also encompasses foreign individuals providing services of exceptional merit and ability to the US Department of Defense (DOD) in a cooperative research and development project, as well as fashion models of distinguished ability.
Accordingly, the category is divided into three visas – the H-1B Specialty Occupations visa, the H-1B2 visa (DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker), and the H-1B3 Fashion Model visa.
Who Qualifies for an H1B Visa? – General Requirements
Primarily, H-1B applicants must be entering the United States to fulfill a specialty occupation. As provided by USCIS, the occupation requires both:
- “Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge”
- “Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States”
Additionally, the position to be occupied by the H-1B applicant must also meet at least one of the criteria established by USCIS, which are:
- Holding a bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) as a minimum entry requirement for that particular position
- The complexity or uniqueness of the job requires it to be performed only by a professional with a degree
- The employer usually requires an advanced degree (or its equivalent) for the position in the business’s industry (e.g., mechanical engineering)
- The nature of the specific duties related to the job is so specialized that the knowledge required to perform them is normally associated with the attainment of an advanced degree
It is crucial to note that while all the visas within the H-1B category share similarities, both the H-1B2 visa and the H-1B3 visa have specific requirements. Hence, make sure to consult with an expert attorney before applying for one of these subcategories.
Obtaining an H1B Visa in the USA – Understanding the Application Process
The H-1B category requires sponsorship by a US employer. Accordingly, the employer will start the process by filing a petition with USCIS on the applicant’s behalf. During this stage, the employer must obtain a labor certification and only then file Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) to the USCIS.
Once the USCIS approves the sponsor’s petition, prospective applicants outside the United States must apply with the US Department of State (DOS) at the nearest US embassy or consulate in their home countries.
Also, it may be necessary for applicants to apply for admission to the United States under the H-1B classification with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Do You Want to Apply for an H1B Visa? – Work with Jurado and Associates, P.A.
At Jurado and Associates, P.A., we have a team of well-versed lawyers to guide you throughout the process of obtaining an H-1B visa. Waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.