People who are interested or have been offered to work in the United States can arrange their immigration by obtaining an H-1B visa. But this involves a complicated process that requires both employers and employees alike to be aware of the procedure. In this article, we talk about H-1B visas, how to apply, filing dates, and more.
What is the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is a specialty occupation visa that is available for those who want to work and live in the United States. To be eligible for it, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in a specific field and be offered a job by a company that needs them to use that degree under a contract of employment.
Examples of Good H-1B Visa Cases
Not all H-1B cases end up successful. But there are examples of solid cases that can be awarded an H-1B visa. A mechanical engineer who has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is offered a job in an engineering firm in the U.S., for example, has a solid case for an H-1B visa because they have the required degree and a job that needs that degree.
Another solid H-1B case involves a marketing position, as well as other professions that require soft skills. Because these are harder to teach than hard skills like STEM, math, science, and technology, the need for their education and expertise is strong in the United States.
How to Get an H-1B Visa
Before trying to obtain an H-1B visa, both the employer and the employee must evaluate whether or not they have a good chance of winning the case. Part of that conversation is determining if they are subject to the H-1B cap, which is the limit set by Congress for how much of these visas to give per year.
Congress has only allotted 105,000 H-1B visas for the entire U.S. per year, with 20,000 reserved for master’s degree holders and 85,000 for bachelor’s degree holders. Every year, however, there are more applicants than there are available visas. Because of this, USCIS runs an annual lottery to select cases to accept.
H-1B Visa Lottery
To join the lottery, the company must register themselves and the available position at the beginning of March. At the end of the month, USCIS will start the lottery and inform the companies selected.
Selected cases will be able to move forward with filing the H-1B petition. If the case is approved, the employee will be given an H-1B visa and be allowed to work in H-1B status beginning the first of October.
Is a Lawyer Needed for the H-1B Visa Process?
While the H-1B visa process sounds straightforward, it’s actually a complicated case to file as it involves dealing with two agencies: the Department of Labor and the USCIS. Both of them have very stringent rules for filing H-1B applications and require that every case has a public access file.
It’s recommended that companies and potential employees engage the services of an immigration lawyer. They know all the details and procedures that need to be followed with regards to an H-1B visa and can increase the chances of winning the immigration case.