The H-1B visa is one of the most well-known U.S. employment visas and employs thousands of foreign nationals from various industries each year. From mechanical engineers to software developers, many skilled workers from abroad work under the H-1B visa for their position in the United States. In 1990, the specialized visa program introduced opportunities to expand the available labor to U.S. companies. This allowed organizations within the U.S. to seek qualified noncitizen workers by sponsoring and allowing them to live and work within the United States.
Having a valid H-1B visa can allow those with specialized skills to enter the United States for three years, with possibly another three-year extension. While this visa option allows many foreign nationals the opportunity to work in the United States for a brief time, going through the process and applying for the visa can be complicated and overwhelming. You'll need to provide evidence of your qualifications and navigate the multistep process, which can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with immigration law. However, with the help of a dependable Washington Immigration attorney at Orbit Law, you'll have the tools and resources to have a successful H-1B visa application.
What Is the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is an employment-based program in the United States that allows employers to seek foreign nations as workers in a specific career. An organization can hire a nonimmigrant foreign worker for a specific occupation, distinguished merit, or significant ability. This specialty occupation requires the applicant to have a significant amount of knowledge and have attained at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent in experience.
U.S. employers who cannot obtain the skills or abilities required for the position from the workforce within the United States can use this visa to temporarily fill the position to a qualified individual from another country. While some may fear that this visa allows foreign nationals to take jobs from U.S. citizens, the law and the U.S. Department of Labor establishes standards that protect U.S. workers from being affected by the employment of foreign national workers. The law also protects the H-1B nonimmigrant workers so that they are not taken advantage of and susceptible to unfair wages.
What Are the Requirements for the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is specifically for skilled workers who have exceptional abilities and qualifications in an industry with a talent shortage in the United States. In order for an individual to receive an H-1B visa, they must prove that they have specific educational requirements. Those interested in working within the United States must have the following to qualify for the H-1B visa:
- The employer must show that they have a vacant position that needs an individual with a specialty occupation and skill to perform the job.
- The foreign national must have a bachelor's degree or higher to qualify for the position.
- The foreign national has the equivalent experience or education to qualify for the specialty occupation.
Both parties must collect the necessary job credentials before filing to prove that all the requirements for the position are met. In order to show that the individual qualifies for the special position, they must show one of the following:
- A degree for the position is typically required.
- The minimum requirement for entry into the position is a bachelor's or higher degree.
- In the same industry, there are parallel positions among similar organizations that require a degree.
- Only an individual with a specific degree or experience can perform the complex or unique position.
- Only someone with a bachelor's level or higher has the knowledge and experience to handle the specialized nature and complexity of the position.
There are many opportunities in the United States for H-1B positions. Some of the most common jobs that qualify for H-1B visas include engineers, lawyers, accountants, healthcare professionals, and many others.
How to Find an H-1B Sponsor?
After you identify several companies that sponsor H-1B applicants in your area of expertise, monitor their websites for open job applications and ensure your resume and other documents are ready to submit as soon as you see an opening. The general process to secure an H-1B visa includes the following steps:
- Find a U.S. employer willing to sponsor foreign applicants.
- Gather your documents that prove your qualifications for the job and the H-1B visa.
- Have your employer file an H-1B petition and enter your petition into the visa lottery.
- Wait for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to send a notice on your application.
Whether you currently reside in the United States or are looking at job openings from within another country, you'll need to make sure that the job positions are open to foreign workers. Some companies may sponsor non-U.S. workers, but the specific position is only available to U.S. citizens. Once you confirm that you have the qualifications and are approved for the position, you can continue with the process.
Discuss Your H-1B Visa with an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today
The United States can offer many career and life opportunities for foreign nationals, but understanding the process of qualifying for an H-1B visa is challenging if you are unfamiliar with U.S. immigration law. An Orbit Law lawyer will help guide you through the H-1B process so that you know your application and position are valid and without legal issues. In order to make sure you can comfortably communicate with our team, we offer services in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu.
We have over ten years of experience handling various visa applications and immigration issues so that you can feel confident in our ability and knowledge. With countless positive past results and testimonials, we are proud to offer clients legal services that they can trust.
Call (206) 623-3352 or fill out our contact form to learn more about how our team can help you.