How Do I Get an H-1B Visa?
It’s a simple process that requires a lot of luckBy Doug Mentes, Esq. | Last updated on January 26, 2023
Use these links to jump to different sections:
- Must Perform a Specialty Occupation
- What Is the Application Process for H-1B Visas?
- How Do Foreign Employees Find U.S. Employers?
Must Perform a Specialty OccupationTo qualify for the H-1B non-immigrant visa, the applicant must perform services in a specialty occupation that meets one of the following criteria:
- Bachelor’s degree (or higher), or its equivalent, is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position
- The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree and work experience
- The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree
- Completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
- Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or master’s degree in the specialty occupation
- Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes the applicant to fully practice the specialty occupation, and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
- Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree; and, have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty
What Is the Application Process for H-1B Visas?Much of the application process is completed by the new employer, and most of the employer’s process is dedicated to obtaining labor certification. The purpose of labor certification is to ensure that U.S. employers pay a fair wage, and first offer that prevailing wage position to U.S. employees. Paying a fair wage ensures that U.S. employees, if interested and qualified, will apply. To begin the labor certification process, the employer submits a Labor Condition Application (LCA). If the employer receives labor certification and has found an interested foreign employee, the employer next files the petition for non-immigrant worker, which enters that employee into the lottery. If selected, the H-1B visa allows the foreign employee to work up to six years in the U.S.
How Do Foreign Employees Find U.S. Employers?Some websites provide information on employers that have previously petitioned for H-1B visas. Immigration law requires H-1B employers to post their positions to U.S. employees first on state job websites. Foreign employees can also reach out to U.S. employers, as there is plenty of information on top companies and top locations for H-1B employees. Whether you’re an employer is looking for talent, or a talented foreign national that’s looking for opportunity, talk to an experienced Massachusetts immigration attorney to increase your chances of obtaining an H-1B visa. For more information on this area of law, see our immigration overview.
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