The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. It allows employers in the U.S. to temporarily employ graduate-level foreign professionals in specialty occupations for up to six years. The H-1B visa allows immigrants to legally live and work in the U.S. during the six-year period. Specialty occupations include those that require technical or theoretical know-how in certain fields, such as engineering, IT, finance, accounting, science, medicine, architecture, science, and mathematics. Applying for an H-1B is generally quicker and easier than applying for a green card, but the process still requires expertise and substantial evidence to prove the applicant is qualified. You need Buhler Thomas Law, P.C., a Utah law firm that understands H1 visas.
Qualifying for an H-1B VisaTo qualify, the individual must have a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited university or college in the specialty occupation. If they are holding a foreign degree, it must be an educational equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The foreign worker may also show degree equivalence through work experience (at least 12 years) or other qualifications. The law considers three years of specialized experience as equivalent to one year of college education. In certain areas where state licensure is a requirement, such as in nursing and education, the individual must have passed the licensure exam as well.
H-1B Visa RequirementsForeign workers are not legally permitted to apply for an H-1B visa for themselves. The employer is required to pay both attorney and government filing fees. The employer must prove that the position they want to fill meets the following criteria:
- Has a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor’s degree
- The job is so complex that it can only be done by someone with a degree
- The employer requires a degree for an equivalent position