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H1B Visa

The H1B Visa is non-immigrant dual intent visa. It allows a U.S. company to employ a foreign individuals for up to six years and it may lead to a Green Card.

Some Important Articles

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows business professionals to work in the United States for a specific amount of time. The purpose of the H-1B visa is to give U.S. employers the opportunity to hire foreign professionals if a U.S. citizen or resident is not available. In order for the H-1B visa to be issued, both the employer and employee must satisfy specific requirements.

Basic Requirements:

§  The Job position must be in specialty Occupation such as Science Technology Engineering or Mathematics, etc.
§  Documented proof of non-availability of enough U.S. citizens to do this type of job
§  The petition is submitted by the Employer, not the employee
§  The position must require a bachelor’s degree or higher as a minimum requirement
§  Speak and read English
§  Employer must commit to provide basic Employee Rights such as Vacation, Sick leave, Maternity leave, Paternity leave, etc.

H-1B Visa restrictions and limits:

§  65,000 visas are issued every year
§  20,000 Cap for Advanced degree holders who got degree in the US
§  No Cap for Non-profit organizations, Higher education institutions
§  If you are transferring your H1B from one company to another, the cap does not impact you.

H1B Visa Processing Method:

USCIS starts accepting applications from April 1st and there is no deadline for the application as long as the cap is not reached.  If approved, you can start working for the employer starting October 1st of the same year. If you are on OPT and have applied for H1B, you can continue to work for your employer and your status will change when H1 is approved. If your OPT is expiring before October 1st, you can still continue working for the employer if you have applied for H1B; This is known as Cap Gap Extension.

Regular processing:

Processing time not definite and take anything from 3-6 months or even more in some cases when there is a Request For Evidence (RFE).

Premium Processing:

Paying $1000 extra on top of the regular fee, the processing time can be shortened to 15 days.

The decision is mailed back to the petitioner (usually your attorney) in 15 days. You can track the progress of your application online on USCIS website if you have the EAC receipt number which you can get from your attorney or employer.

Once you get your H1B approved and have your I-94, you are allowed to work in the US. You will need to get the Visa stamped on your passport, if you leave the US and want to come back in.

If your H1 was approved without I-94, then you will have to leave the country and get the H1B stamped on your passport before you can start working in the US.
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