What is an H-1B Nonimmigrant Worker Visa?
The H-1B Visa is a United States nonimmigrant visa. It allows a U.S. company to employ a foreign individual for up to six years and it may lead to a Green Card. If you are an engineer, scientist, model or are in a specialty occupation and you will be working in the U.S. for a limited period of time, this might be the right visa for you.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows business professionals to work in the United States for a specific amount of time. The purpose of the H-1B visa is to give U.S. employers the opportunity to hire foreign professionals if a U.S. citizen or resident is not available. Obtaining any visa requires more than simply completing and filing your applications. We help our clients gather the necessary documentation for the H1-B or other work or training visa and provide strategic advice to foreign nationals to help them get the most benefit from the visa application process. Contact our immigration attorneys now for a free consultation.
Read more: H-1B nonimmigrant visa, is it right for me?
Am I eligible for an H-1B work visa?
In order for the H-1B visa to be issued, both you and your employer must satisfy specific requirements. The following criteria must be met:
- The job offer must be in a specialty occupation such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, etc.;
- There are criteria for wages offered and the actual job performed;
- No U.S. citizen or resident must be available for the job;
- The petition must be submitted by the company (not the employee);
- You must have a Bachelor degree, higher degree or equivalent;
- You must have a specialized skill;
- You must be able to speak and read English.
You may read more about the occupational and educational requirements of the H-1B visa here. If you have questions about applying for your U.S. visa, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with one of immigration attorneys in Los Angeles, California.
How long can I work in the U.S. with the H-1B visa?
The initial H-1B visa may be issued for up to three years. It may be extended after that for up to two years, then renewed once again for one additional year. The maximum duration of your stay can be up to six consecutive years. There are some options for an H-1B visa holder once the time limit expires, however.
Can I bring my family to accompany me in the U.S. while on H-1B status?
The H-1B visa allows employees in specialty occupations to also their spouse and children under the age of 21 to accompany them and legally live in the U.S. Accompanying family members require an H-4 visa to live in the U.S.
Can my spouse or children work in the U.S. while I am on an H-1B visa?
The spouse and child(ren) of H-1B visa holders can also work in the U.S., but they have to obtain their own work visa through the same process, with an employer who will sponsor them. H-4 dependents are not authorized to work.
Can my spouse or children attend school on H-4 status?
An H-1B visa holder's spouse and child(ren) under twenty-one years of age are permitted to attend school based on their H-4 status either on a part-time or full-time basis.
Can I attend school or college while on H-1B status?
An H-1B visa holder is allowed to go to school part time or full time without an F-1 visa as long as he or she maintains a valid H-1B status. This means that while the H-1B employee is attending school, he or she must continue to be employed by the petitioning employer.
The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is hard to apply for and we strongly encourage you to contact an immigration attorney to help you prepare this application.
When should I apply for an H-1B visa?
There are certain restrictions for when you may apply for an H-1B nonimmigrant worker visa. Depending on whether this is your first time working on an H-1B visa, the type of degree (bachelor's or higher) you have and other factors decide when and how you may apply for an H-1B visa. For more information, we strongly encourage you to contact us now for your free consultation.