H-1B visas apply to people who want to come to the U.S. to perform special services or work on the basis of exceptional merit. You can live in the U.S. for 3 years and this time can be extended up to 6 years.
If you would like to be considered for an H-1B visa for specialty occupations, one of the following must be true about your job.
- The job requires someone who has a Bachelor’s degree or higher. In some countries, the Bachelor’s degree is known by another name – that is fine as long as it is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree.
- Secondly, it must be true that the employer normally needs someone with a degree to work. It also has to be normal for the industry to require a degree from workers. For example, it is a common rule that doctors, teachers, or engineers to have some form of degree in order to work. Restaurant or gas station jobs do not require special degrees from its workers.
- The job can also be so complicated that it cannot be done by a worker who does not have a degree or Bachelor’s degree.
If your job meets just one of the conditions listed above, the first check has been completed. You are now ready to determine if you meet the criteria to apply for an H-1B visa. In order to be eligible, you must meet one of the following conditions.
- You must hold a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent that is required by your employer at an accredited university or college.
- Or, you must have a license that indicates that you are authorized to work in the state where you are employed. If you are planning on working in California, your license should state that you are permitted to practice your employment in this state.
If you don’t fall into the categories listed, you still have a chance at being accepted for an H-1B:
- Have you worked or trained in a job enough that you now have the education and expertise of someone who has a degree? Then you might qualify. It is necessary that your knowledge of the field is recognized through advanced employment positions that indicate your level of training in the field.
If your job satisfies one of the criteria above and you educational or employment history indicates that you meet one of the criteria as well, then you may have a chance at receiving an H-1B visa. Other factors must be taken into consideration like the H-1B cap. Every fiscal year, 65,000 H-IB visas are granted to workers. If you have an advanced degree, higher than a Bachelor’s, then you may be exempt from the cap. Also, extra visas are set aside every year for workers from Chile and Singapore. Otherwise, your application may be rejected due to the limit per year. Contact an immigration attorney for more information about the fiscal year cap and whether or not you qualify for an H-1B visa.
Because determining your eligibility is a complicated task, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an attorney. If you have any questions about the H-1B visa, please contact Immigration Attorney Phillip Kim.