H-1B Work Visa
The H-1B visa permits US employers to hire foreign professionals for a specified period of time. H-1B visas are available to professionals in certain specified occupations that require specialized knowledge and at least a bachelors degree to enter the profession.
Examples of qualifying occupation categories are jobs in the fields of computer science, health care, university teaching, engineering, law, accounting, financial analysis, management consulting, architecture and scientific research positions.
The H-1B worker is authorized to work for the petitioning employer only. It is however possible to hold H-1B status with multiple employers. Each employer must file a separate petition with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The employer must file a Labor Condition Application prior to filing the H-1B petition.
Because of the limited number of available visas, there is a specific window for applications. The initial digital registration process for employers seeking H-1B workers is open from March 1 through March 20, 2020. USCIS will select random registrations meeting the 65,000 available visas. Then, starting April 1st companies can file H-1B petitions during the 90-day filing window.
- The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to legally live and work in the United States. H-1B workers are not required to maintain a foreign residence and may seek permanent residence in the United States.
- Travel in and out of the United States is allowed as long as your H-1B visa and status are valid.
- Visas are also available for immediate family members (i.e., spouse and children).
- The H-1B visa is subject to a quota. Annually 65.000 new H-1B visas are available.
- The H-1B visa is a temporary work permit that allows foreign nationals to live and work in the United States for up to 6 years. After this period, you must reside outside of the United State for a full year before becoming eligible to reapply for H or L status.
- An H-1B worker may only work for the employer who sponsored the visa. If the H-1B worker wishes to change to a new employer must have this new employer file a new H-1B petition.
- Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of H-1B workers are entitled to H-4 status but are not authorized to work in the United States.