The H-1B visa (or “Specialty Occupation” visa) is one of the most popular temporary worker visas, used for those in professional or specialty occupations.
It allows the visa holder to work in the United States for 3 years with a 3-year extension.
(Nationals of Chile or Singapore may also consider the specific H-1B1 Visa sub-type.)
H1B Visa Benefits
- Your immediate family can stay with you as long as you maintain your H-1B status. Family can attend school.
- You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. (with valid visa)
- H-1B is valid for 3 years, with one 3 year extension (total of 6 years). This may be further extended if the holder has begun the Green Card process.
H1B Visa Requirements
- Requires a bachelor’s degree or higher, or its equivalent in the specific specialty
- The degree requirement is normal minimum requirement for the position, or for the industry.
- Requires theoretical & practical body of knowledge obtained generally through studies at institution of higher learning (though there are work experience equivalent – 3 years of work is equal to 1 year of education)
- Specialized fields include (not are not limited to): architecture, theology, international business management, engineering, mathematics, sciences, programming, journalism, accountancy, research, medicine/health, nursing, law, arts, social sciences, education (if your position is not listed, please contact us to find out if your position qualifies)
H1B Visa Additional Details
Family Members of H1B Holders
Spouses and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the H-1B holder in the U.S. for as long as the H-1B visa is valid.
Family members will hold an H-4 visa. H-4 visa holders may attend school, but may not work under the H-4. Family members would need to qualify for another visa that would permit work.
A maximum of 65,000 H-1B’s are issued each year.
There are some exceptions – the first 20,000 with U.S. Master’s degree (or higher) are exempt. Also, those applying for positions at institution of higher education or its affiliated or related non-profit or research entities are also exempt from the cap.
The cap plays a larger role in some years than others. We can advise you regarding H-1B cap issues.
“Labor Certification” or Labor Condition Application (LCA)
The employer must approve it will pay the visa holder a wage that is no less than similarly qualified workers, i.e., the “prevailing wage” for the position in that geographic area.
The prevailing wage determination is a complex matter and can be a sticking point in the visa application.
We are very experienced in successfully navigating the prevailing wage determination issue using a variety of alternative methods.
H-1B Extension & Permanent Residency
H-1B visas are limited to 3 years, with a 3 year extension. It is critical you apply for the extension prior to the dates specified by USCIS.
You may be able to stay beyond the cumulative 6 year period of the H-1B and extension if you apply for permanent residency/Green Card while holding an H-1B visa. But, it is important you apply for the Green Card by the end of year 2 of your extension.
Our firm can assist with H-1B extensions, as well as the permanent residency process for H-1B holders.
Trust Velie Law With Your H-1B Visa Application
If your H-1B Visa Application is important to you, here are four great reasons why you should speak to Velie Law Firm today.
- The care we put into all our applications gives us the highest success rates in the industry.
- Plus you get our “Success Guarantee” — if your first application is not successful, we’ll review and resubmit at no cost.
- You’ll deal directly with our in-house attorneys (no affiliates).
- Our services are flat-rate. You won’t pay one penny more!
* Our approval rate displayed is the average for calendar year 2014. Any result Velie Law Firm might have achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.