H-1B Employee Visa
The H-1B Specialty Occupations Visa commonly known as H-1B Visa is a temporary visa that allows foreign nationals to temporarily live and work in the United States. In order to qualify for an H-1B Visa, a U.S. company must have a position available that requires highly specialized knowledge, offer the qualifying job to the foreign national and the foreign worker must meet the criteria required for the sponsoring position. The H1-B Visas are typically issued for a 3-year period and may be renewed for another three years.
The H-1B Visa is a temporary work permit that allows American companies to hire highly skilled immigrants for jobs where there is a shortage of American workers. The foreign workers who can qualify for an H-1B Visa include those individuals that come to the United States to work in specialty occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or higher, individuals who engage in cooperative research and development projects administered by the U.S. Department of Defense and fashion models of distinguished merit and ability. The H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as science, engineering and information technology, and fields such as teaching and accounting.
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In order to apply for an H-1B Visa, the U.S. employer must file a petition on behalf of the foreign worker to qualify him or her as an H-1B temporary worker. The prospective U.S. employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the United States Department of Labor (DOL) for certification from the DOL. After the DOL approves the Labor Certification, the employer must petition on behalf of the foreign worker with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After the USCIS approves the petition and the foreign employee is selected by the computer-generated random selection process then he or she is granted the H-1B Visa.
There are 65,000 H-1B Visas available each year for foreign workers with a bachelor’s degree and 20,000 H-1B Visas for foreign workers that hold a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university or other higher education institution. However, H-1B employees who are employed at a higher education institution or nonprofit entities and research organizations or government research organizations are not subject to this numerical cap. Please note that 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements. Because the number of applications highly exceeds the cap on the number of H-1B Visas issued each year, the petitions are selected via a lottery also known as a computer-generated random selection process. There is no way to predict what H-1B petition is selected or when the year’s H-1B cap will be used.
In the case of an Investor, Business Owner or Entrepreneurs applying for an H-1B Visa, the U.S. company and the foreign worker are often the same person, but a business owner can also use an H-1B Visa to sponsor his or her employees. An H-1B Visa is more difficult as an option when the owner of the U.S. company is also the beneficiary of the H-1B petition because there are strict laws regarding whether or not a person who has an ownership interest in a company can sponsor themselves for an H-1B Visa. However, a qualified immigration specialist can help in this case.
Contact us, your experienced business immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida, to schedule an appointment for your immigration case and find out more about the H-1B Visa and other visa options available for you.
Malescu Law P.A. – Business & Immigration Lawyers