H1B Visa for Temporary Workers

h1b visaThe  H1B visa is the most popular business visa.    It allows foreign citizens in specialty occupations to temporarily live and work in the U.S.

H-1B Visa Information for Employers

In order to offer H-1B visa sponsorship to an employee, you must have an available position in a specialty occupation.  “Specialty occupation” is defined as an occupation that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge.  Some examples of specialty occupations are  accountants, computer professionals, physicians,  market research analysts, financial analysts, teachers, architects, etc.  Fashion models may also apply for the H-1B program.

The employee must have at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and the field of study must be related to the job being offered.  The job offered must usually require at least a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

You must plan well in advance.  The H-1B filing season opens each year in the first week of April.  There is a cap on the number of visas available.  Most years, that cap is reached in the first week of the filing season, and petitions are selected by computer lottery.  If your petition “wins” the lottery, the worker will be allowed to start work on October 1.  If your employee is already working for you, that employee will need to be in work authorized status and remain that way up until he can start working on the H-1B visa.

H-1B Visa Information for Employees and Job Seekers

The H1B visa process is employer driven.  That means you must have a job offer, and the employer must submit a petition on your behalf.  The employer needs to pay the legal and government filing fees.

We receive a lot of calls from job seekers asking about how to find an H-1B sponsor.  The answer is that it is no different than any other job search.  You network.  You find an available position that you qualify for and apply.  If you are offered the job, you’ll need to discuss H-1B sponsorship with the employer.  There’s no secret list of H-1B jobs and sponsors.  While you can find websites offering this information for a fee, the information is already available to the public.  Find out which companies file H-1B visas and for what occupations here.

If you find an H-1B sponsor, congratulations!  If you are already in the United States, remember it is your responsibility to remain in status until you can start working with the visa on October 1.

H-4 Visas for Family Members

Your spouse and children (under age 21) can join you in the United States through the H-4 visa program.  In the past, H-4 visa holders were not authorized to work.  This changed by executive action in 2015.  Now dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who have already been approved for an I-140 immigrant petition for permanent residency or who have been granted an extension to stay beyond the H-1B visa’s usual six-year limit may receive work authorization.

Looking for more information on the H-1B visa program?  We can help.  Sign up here to receive free information on how to apply for an H-1B visa.

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