Understanding the H-1B Visa

The H-1B Visa is one of the most popular employment based non-immigration visas available today. It is set up to allow a company to bring in foreign nationals to work temporarily in a specialty occupation. There are a wide range of different rules and regulations surrounding the H-1B Visa so it is important that both the employer bringing in the talent and the individual looking to come to the US for work understand this visa option well.

Qualifying Requirements

The position that is being filled with an H-1B visa must require at least a Bachelor’s degree or higher and must be considered a professional position. This can include roles that require specialized theoretical and practical knowledge directly related to the position.

Employer Responsibilities

Unlike many visa types, much of the responsibility for qualifying falls on the employer. The employer hoping to bring in foreign talent must meet these responsibilities:

  • File a Labor Condition Application – The employer must pay the H-1B beneficiary the same wage rate that is paid to all the other individuals working for the company with similar experience and qualifications.
  • Document Appropriateness of Wages – The duties and responsibilities of the worker must be laid out to justify the wage rate that is given.
  • Return Trip – In the event that the employment is terminated prior to the expiration date of the visa the employer must pay the employee the amount it will cost for the return trip.

Length of Visa

The H-1B visa initially lasts for a period of one year, but can be extended for a total of six years. If an employer wants the employee to stay longer than that it will likely be necessary to seek permanent residency status.

How Long Does It Take?

The application and approval process can take up to about 12 weeks, which is the recommended lead time immigration services recommends. The employer and the employee should complete all the required application paperwork and documentation as soon as possible to help avoid potential problems or delays.

Working with an immigration attorney can also help to ensure there are no mistakes made during the application process, which can help prevent a wide range of possible issues. Please contact us today to learn more!