A Brief Introduction to the H-1B Visa

While there are many types of visas available to help people come to America, few are as popular for employment-based situations as the H-1B. The H-1B visa is an excellent option as it makes it easy for both the immigrant and the employer to accomplish their goals. This is a temporary visa, but it does have options for extensions, which can be extremely important for employment visas.

Please keep in mind that the following requirements are up to date as of the writing of this article, but are always subject to change. You should always consult with an immigration attorney like those at Sánchez-Roig Law Firm, P.A. before taking action.

Requirements to Qualify for the H-1B Visa

There are five main requirements that must be met in order to qualify for this type of visa, which are as follows:

  • Requirement #1 – The individual seeking the visa must have a job or a job offer from a US employer.
  • Requirement #2 – The job has to qualify as a specialty occupation. This means it requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field. The job must commonly require this type of degree, and must be a position for which it is reasonable to expect the degree will be necessary due to the complexity of the job responsibilities.
  • Requirement #3 – The job must be in a field related to the degree which the applicant has. For example, if someone has a job offer for an IT position, their degree must be IT related.
  • Requirement #4 – The wages paid for the job must be in line with the prevailing wages for that position. The US Department of Labor has a database of this information, which they check against.
  • Requirement #5 – There must be H-1B visas available when the petition is filed. There is a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas that are issued each year, and they are filled quite quickly. With this in mind, it is essential for both the employer and the employee to plan ahead to have everything ready as soon as the Department of Labor begins accepting applications in a given year.

Ongoing Responsibilities

Even after an H-1B visa has been issued, both the employer and the employee will have some ongoing responsibilities in order to comply with the visa requirements. For example, the employer must notify the government should the employment contract be terminated for any reason. In addition, any material changes to the responsibilities of the employee must be reported (this would be things like changes in job responsibilities or titles).

Employers are required to have the Labor Condition Application of the H-1B employee posted at all worksites that the employee may be working. Finally, the employer is also responsible for transporting the employee back to his or her home country when employment ends. This includes paying for all reasonable costs related to the move back.

Attention to Detail is Essential

As you can see, there are a lot of things that must be done correctly in order to use this type of visa. Due to the limited number of these that are issued each year, even a small mistake can result in a delay that will effectively eliminate any chance of having an application approved. Not only that, but this visa is so popular that in recent years the maximum number of applications has been met within a week after USCIS begins accepting them, which will be at the start of April in 2017 (for the 2018 fiscal year).

This is why many it is so important to utilize the services of a skilled immigration attorney to help you achieve timely filings of all relevant paperwork, as well as ensure legal compliance with all H-1B regulations. Sánchez-Roig Law Firm, P.A. can help give you the best chance at achieving a successful H-1B visa application. Give us a call today to learn more.

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Written by SRS