The H-1B visa is the most commonly sought visa for professional employment in the U.S. To obtain an H-1B visa, there must be a job offer in a specialty occupation and an employer who is willing to sponsor a person by filing a petition with the USCIS.
Specialty occupation is defined as an occupation requiring theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized knowledge and obtaining a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent in the specific specialty). For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical and social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.
An employer filing a petition for a foreign worker must show that a proposed position is in a specialty occupation (i.e., the minimum requirement for entry into the field is a bachelor’s degree). However, as far as foreign worker’s credentials are concerned, the bachelor’s degree is not an absolute requirement for obtaining H-1B visa.
According to the regulations, the person’s professional experience can also be taken into account (three years of on the job experience are equivalent to one year of U.S. level university education).
Further, the Department of Labor requires an employer to attest that the H-1B visa worker is being paid the prevailing wage for the work being performed and that employment of a foreign worker is not harming the working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. Thus, filing a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor is the prerequisite of submitting H-1B petition to the USCIS.
The special advantage of an H-1B visa is that it facilitates the permanent residence process. An H-1B worker can be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent Resident status without affecting H-1B status. This is known as “dual intent.” During the time that the application for green card is pending, a foreign worker may travel on his/her H-1B visa rather than obtaining advance parole to return to the U.S.
A foreign professional can be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years at a time. However, an H-1B can be extended beyond this limitation if 365 days or more have passed since the filing of an application for labor certification or employment-based immigrant petition on alien’s behalf.
Contact our experienced attorneys at Partovi Law LLC. for advice on obtaining H-1B visa
Attorneys at Partovi Law LLC, have extensive experience with H-1B visa and can assist you in preparing and obtaining H-1B for you and/or your company’s employee(s). Please call us at 703-752- 6148 to schedule an appointment.