The three basic requirements for obtaining an H-1B work visa are the same for all applicants.
- The applicant must meet the minimum educational requirements.
- The sponsoring employer must extend a valid offer of employment.
- The proffered position must meet the requirements of a “specialty occupation.”
Unfortunately, these seemingly simplistic requirements leave much room for debate and interpretation.
H-1B Work Visa Employment Requirements
To qualify, an employer must extend a legitimate job offer to the applicant.
Generally, the relationship between the applicant and the employer is expected to be a traditional employer/employee relationship. If the applicant plans to work as an independent contractor or self-employed, these factors could affect the chances of being granted an H-1B visa.
An immigration attorney can review the proposed employment arrangements and recommend the best approach for documenting this aspect of the requirements.
H-1B Visa Educational Requirements
The minimum education requirement for applicants is a bachelor’s degree conferred by an accredited U.S. college or university. However, you can obtain a work visa if you have what is considered to be the equivalent of this degree.
Alternative options that may meet the educational requirements include:
- An equivalent degree from a foreign university,
- Professional licensing in a specialized field, or
- A combination of training and real-world experience in a specialized field.
When the applicant is relying on an alternative option, they must provide whatever documentation is necessary to prove they meet the minimum requirements.
H-1B Visa Specialty Occupation Requirements
The job in question must qualify as a specialty occupation. This requirement also leaves much room for interpretation.
Basically, a specialty occupation is complex enough that it can only be performed by someone who holds a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, many types of positions can qualify as a specialty occupation, as long as the job is documented accordingly in the H-1B application.
Contact Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. to learn more about the requirements for obtaining an H-1B work visa. We can help you with every aspect of the process, to ensure you have the best chance of obtaining approval.