Work visas (H-1B) are issued to temporary workers who come to the United States to work in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation is a job that requires at least a Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent. Examples of specialty occupations include: accountants, architects, IT workers, financial analysts, physicians, or researchers. There are many other occupations that qualify for an H-1B visa so please contact us to discuss your options. Only an employer can file an H-1B petition; therefore an immigrant cannot petition for himself or herself.
Work visa H-1B can be issued for a maximum of three years and can be then renewed for 3 more years. After an immigrant spends 6 years in the US in H-1B status, he or she must leave the US for one year before being allowed to apply again. This 6 year limit does not apply to immigrants who have begun employment based green card sponsorships. If certain conditions are met, such an immigrant can remain in the US in the H-1B status until his or her green card is granted.
H-1B visas have many advantages; unfortunately Congress has set an annual limit of H-1B visas that can be issued during a fiscal year. Currently this limit is set at 65,000 visas per year. In addition, 20,000 visas are reserved for those immigrants who have completed their Master's Degrees at US universities. Above limits do not apply to immigrants employed by certain nonprofit organizations, government organizations and universities. Limits also do not apply to those immigrants who wish to renew their visas or to change employers (provided that a 6 year limit is not exceeded).
Due to much higher demand for H-1B visas than the annual limit, USCIS conducts an H-1B lottery. Participation in the lottery requires registration on the USCIS portal and payment of a $10 fee per applicant. Registration period takes place in March and the exact dates are announces by USCIS every year. The results of the lottery are announced before April 1. The selected applicants must apply for their visas by June 30.
Applying for an H-1B visa involves submitting a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the employer. The petition must include supporting documentation to establish the qualifying specialty occupation, the employee's qualifications, and the job offer.
Navigating the H-1B visa process can be complex, as it requires meeting specific eligibility criteria and providing thorough documentation. The Immigration Law Firm of Marcin Muszynski, Esq. can assist you in preparing a strong and compelling petition.