Many employers in the United States may find that they need to bring overseas to the United States to assist with a particular project or work for the company on a temporary basis. Under U.S. immigration law, these employers may be able to file a H-1B visa petition on behalf of their employees. However, due to the limited number of H-1B visas available each year, only certain employees are eligible for H-1B visas.
Who is eligible for an H-1B visa?
To qualify for an H-1B visa, an employee must have a specialty occupation. This means that their occupation requires a theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge, and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of specialty. Additionally, one of the following criteria must be met:
- Bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) is the standard minimum requirement for the job or the employer normally requires one for the position
- The degree requirement is common to other similar positions in the industry, or the a degree is required due to the job’s complexities
- The knowledge required for the job is typically associated with the degree
Criteria that employees need to meet
Employees must also meet one of the following criteria before accepting a specialty occupation:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree or higher from accredited university
- Complete a foreign degree that is equivalent to the required degree in the U.S.
- Unrestricted license that allows you to practice the specialty occupation in the intended state
- Complete the necessary education, training, and experience equivalent to the degree, and recognition of expertise in the specialty through ‘progressively responsible positions related to the specialty.’
Once a H-1B visa has been granted, it can last anywhere from three to six years. For non-specialty jobs, an H-2B visa may be used to fill the positions. An attorney specializing in immigration law can help ensure you get the right visa required for you to work in the United States.