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The H-1B Visa is used by foreign professionals who are sponsored by a U.S. employer to work in a specialty occupation in the U.S. An H-1B visa is generally valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three-year period. An employer may sponsor an H-1B employee for a Green Card, if desired.
In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, the applicant must hold at least a Bachelor's degree and the U.S. position must require at least a Bachelor's degree. The U.S. employer must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage earned by similarly employed workers in the area of employment and must make other attestations as stipulated by the Department of Labor. Individuals seeking a U.S. work visa who do not qualify for H-1B status should explore alternate visa options, such as the L-1, or TN visa.
Only 65,000 H-1B visas are issued each year. In past years, the demand for H-1B visas has exceeded supply to such an extent that all available visas have been exhausted in days. This has resulted in the administration of a "lottery" system, whereby USCIS only completes processing on randomly selected applications. Applications that are not selected in the years that the lottery stems is in place are rejected. Because so few H-1B visas are available, successful H-1B visa applicants have had to approach the H-1B visa application process with foresight and a calculated strategy.
The H-1B application process is complicated not only from a timing perspective, but also because a number of forms are required, and applications must be filed with both U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Department of Labor.
The process of applying for an H-1B visa involves careful preparation and strategy. In years where a lottery system is in place, it is vital to submit a flawless application the first time. Mistakes and miscalculations in submission of the H-1B visa application process can mean that a visa applicant must wait for an entire year before he or she is eligible to submit another visa application.
Give yourself the tools you need to make the most informed decisions about applying for the H-1B visa: Find out how the process works, what timing considerations are involved, and what forms and supporting documents must be submitted. Click here to get all the information you need to successfully get your H-1B visa.
The H-1B Visa e-kit contains: