An H-1B visa is a temporary worker visa that allows certain people to live and work in the United States for a limited period of time. With the sponsorship of a U.S. employer, a foreigner with special skills in fields such as science, medicine, engineering, law, education, etc. can come to the United States and work for three years. This term can be extended up to a total of six years in the United States.

The key basics of a H1-B Visa are:

  • H1-B Visa can be approved by only a specific employer who sponsors the employee to come work at the specific location. A petition must be filed with the USCIS.
  • The employer must pay all the h1-B Visa fees.
  • The employee can work under the H1-B Visa for up to six years and must renew the visa every three years.
  • If the employer terminates the employee, the employer must compensate the employee the return transportation to the employee’s residence.
  • When the employment ends, the employee must notify the USCIS.

What Are the Requirements to Obtain an H-1B Visa?

Only certain jobs qualify for obtaining an H-1B visa. For example, it only applies to jobs that require specialized knowledge and at least a B.A or an equivalent degree. The job must also not adversely affect the wages of American workers or displace American workers.

The basic requirements for a H1-B visa are:

  • A US employer must hire the employee to come work under the supervision and control of the employer.
  • The employment must qualify as a specialty occupation.
  • The employment must require a bachelors degree or higher degree.
  • The nature and specific duties of the employment must be specialized and require complex knowledge.
  • The employment must be related to the field of employee’s study.
  • The employer must pay the employee at least the actual or prevailing wage, which a person in the position would receive.
  • A full application for the H1-B Visa must be filed with the USCIS and all required fees must be paid by employer.

How Long Will It Take to Obtain an H-1B Visa?

The amount of time that it will take to obtain a H1-B Visa depends on the action of the government agency. There is a annual quota and limit for H1-B Visas and the employer must make sure that there are still visas available. The typical time for H1-B Visa petitions filed under regular processing can range from 2 months to 6 months. Every H1-B Visa petition case is different and the processing time depends on the facts and the factors that are within the petition.

For premium processing petitions, the USCIS has a 15-calendar day timetable

Do I Need an Attorney?

As H-1B visas are in high demand, it is important to contact an immigration attorney in order to ensure your paperwork is processed efficiently. Without the help of an experienced immigration attorney, you may have trouble obtaining your visa before the quota is reached.