H-1B Visa- Specialty Occupation Work Visa for Professional Employees


An H1B visa allows a foreign person with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in work experience to work in the U.S., if the position the foreigner will fill requires such preparation, and the employer agrees to pay the individual the prevailing wage for such a position in the location of employment. The person will be in non-immigrant status (meaning that the person will not be residing permanently in the U.S.). However, the individual may apply for permanent residency thereafter. This is appropriate for someone who has a specialty job offer in the U.S. (requiring a bachelor degree or its equivalent in relevant work experience) and wants to start working as soon as possible.

There is currently a premium processing option, which for an additional $1,000 in filing fees, the US Immigration Service will commit to process the application within 15 calendar days from receipt of the application. Processing the application does not mean that there will necessarily be a final decision after 15 days, but rather that there will be a response after this time. This response may be a visa approval, a denial or it may also include a request for additional documentation from the petitioner or the employer.

Who Is Eligible

Foreigners with a bachelor degree, or its equivalent in work experience and specialized skills, are eligible for an H-1B visa (their dependents are eligible for an H-4 visa). To apply for this visa you must have the following requirements:

  • A job offer in the U.S. with a company willing to sponsor you;
  • A salary and working conditions that matches what others are making in the same field in the area where you will be working;
  • A bachelor degree or experience in the field of employment equivalent to a bachelor degree, or relevant work experience to the position offered.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Cap Season, please visit USCIS website for the most up to date information.

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