An H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that can be used by employers in the United States that need to fill positions that require a specialty occupation in their companies in the United States.
What Is The Criteria Of Qualification For An H-1B Visa?
One of the main requirements is that the applicant needs to have a bachelor’s degree in one of these specialty occupations, which require technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science and medicine. In some cases in which a person doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can also use the experience to try to meet the requirement of the degree. For example, for every three years of experience, you may use that as one year of education. For example, if you have someone that only has three years of education but they also have three or more years of experience in that occupation, you can try to do an equivalency to show that it is an equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.
What Is A Specialty Occupation For The Purposes Of An H-1B Visa?
A specialty occupation basically means that the area of employment or occupation has to be something that really requires a high degree of knowledge. For example, an accountant is an occupation that because of the nature of it would require a lot of skill for this position; the same thing with engineers and even management. There is a list issued by the government that provides exactly what type of occupations are considered specialty occupations that in general are the type of occupations that because of their nature are very specialized.
What Are The Benefits And Limitations Of An H-1B Visa?
The benefit of an H-1B visa is that it allows someone that is qualified to perform the job and to work for an American company. They are also able to stay here and work for up to six years. One of the good things about this type of visa is that it doesn’t require the employer to show that there are not enough people available to do that work. That is a good thing because as long as that person has the qualification, they may be considered for the specific position. One of the main limitations in regards to these visas is that they have to be filed very early in the year. Basically, the fiscal year opens on April 1st and normally there are only 65,000 visas available, which means that more people apply and that is normally what happens. Last year, for example, over 300,000 people applied for only 65,000 visas. What they do when there are more applicants than there are visas available is they do some kind of lottery and then take the first 65,000 applications which are considered for the fiscal year and then they return the remaining applications. The other downside to an H-1B visa is also that if a person is selected, normally they cannot start working until October. Basically they apply for the visa in April and start working by October 1st of that year.
What Are The Biggest Challenges Faced By Clients in Obtaining The H-1B Visa?
The main challenge that they face is the numbers of visas available. Even if they qualify and they meet all the other requirements, if they are not selected in the lottery process then basically they have to wait until next year to apply again. I believe that’s the main challenge, the number limitation and also the fact that they have to wait six months before they can even start working for the company.
What Is The Criteria Of Acceptance Or Rejection In The H-1B Process?
Obviously, the first thing that will happen in these cases is that there is an employer and there is also a candidate for that specific position. We have to identify what the position is and also make sure that the position qualifies as a specialty occupation. After it has been determined that the occupation is a specialty occupation, we have to request from the Department of Labor something that is called a Labor Certification at the station. The employer has to promise the government that the employee is going to be paid the prevailing wage for that specific position in that specific geographic area. Once after we have that labor certification at the station, it is normally called an LCA, we are going to have to file that with the petition. The petition is filed on April 1st of each year.
Obviously then we have to file the application which shows both the nature of the occupation, the actual position that is being offered and we also have to show that the applicant meets all the requirements for that position. The main one being the fact that the person has at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. After the petition and the labor certification at the station is done then we file an application with USCIS and within 15 days the government does that lottery to select the 65,000 people who will be selected for that year. All the other applications are returned. Once the government receives the application, it normally takes a few months for them to make a decision. For all the cases that are approved, if the person is in the United States then they will apply for a change of status form their current status to H-1B. If they are not in the United States then they have to do the whole process with a consulate to be able to obtain an immigrant visa to enter the United States.