WHO: The H-1B Visa allows employers to hire foreign professionals to work for their company in the United States. The employer completes the application. The application is filed with the United States Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS). The USCIS must approve the application before the foreign employee may begin working.
WHAT: The H-1B Visa Program is designed for individuals to come to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation. These positions normally require a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in a specialty field. Additionally, the employer is required to pay the H-1B worker a wage which is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or, if greater, the prevailing wage for the position in the geographic area in which the H-1B worker will be working. The initial duration of stay in the U.S. can be up to three years with subsequent yearly renewals not to exceed six years.
WHEN: Generally, the “H-1B season” begins April with the window opening 6 months in advance of the start of the USCIS fiscal year, which begins October 1. The USCIS announces the date that it will begin deciding the petitions filed. Currently, the issuance of new H-1B extensions and/or visas is capped at 65,000 each fiscal year. Therefore, it is critical for employers seeking H-1B to file applications as soon as the window opens.
WHERE: Employers submit H-1B petitions through the USCIS. Applications are available at: https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-dod-cooperative-research-and-development-project-workers-and-fashion.
HOW: To begin the application process, the employer must apply for and receive Department of Labor certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA). Then, the employer should complete, sign, and file the form I-129 Petition, pay a filing fee, and collect the necessary documentation to show eligibility. Once the Form I-129 is approved, then the prospective H-1B worker who is outside of the U.S. may apply with the U.S. Department of State for an H-1B visa.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This information should not be considered a comprehensive discussion of the H-1B visa or application process.