H1B work visas in the USA are issued to individuals who have been invited to work as temporary workers in industries where special professional skills are required. Oftentimes, this is in the areas of computer and financial analytics, accounting, engineering, science, architecture, law.
Therefore, the employee must provide proof of professional skills in documentary form: a bachelor's degree or equivalent. Obtaining the first occurs after studying for 4 years at a US university or any foreign country. In the latter case, an applicant who wants to obtain a visa will need proof in the form of a diploma obtained at a foreign university or equivalent to that which he would have received at a college or US university.
If the training duration is less than 4 years, confirmation should be provided that the candidate has worked at least 3 years in the specialty for every 1 missing year of education. This will be considered the full equivalent of a bachelor's degree, which is issued after studying for 4 years at a college or university.
How to apply for an H1B visa?
To obtain an H1B visa in the USA, you must fill out a special Labor Condition Application (LCA) form. The LCA is information about the place and conditions of work, for subsequent submission to the USCIS (US Immigration and Naturalization Services). When the form is fully approved, another Form I-129 (Petition for a Foreign Worker) is filled out by a potential employer. The employer submits Form I-129, along with all necessary supporting documents to USCIS. When the H-1B petition is approved by this service, the U.S. Consulate issues a visa.
H1B Visa Document Requirements
The following documents must be submitted for an H1B visa:
- LCA form from the Department of Labor, reflecting the characteristics of the workplace and working conditions, in the approved form;
- Educational certificates (at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent) confirming the qualifications that allow you to apply for an H1B visa;
* If you have a foreign diploma, you will need to obtain a certificate prepared by an educational evaluation agency confirming that the degree is equivalent to a US degree.
- Most recent resume;
- Certificates or letters confirming previous work experience;
- Letter of sponsorship from an American company / employer who will be sponsoring you for employment;
- Some professions may require state licensing.
- Some medical facilities may require a Visa Screen certificate.
- It is important to note that the above list of documents is not exhaustive, but rather minimal, and additional documents are likely to be required depending on each specific case.
How long is the H1B visa?
H1B visa to the United States is issued for an initial period of up to 3 years, and can be extended for up to 6 years total. There are exceptions where a visa can be extended beyond the 6 years.
A little more about H1B visa eligibility in case of new employment
If, for one reason or another, the employee has decided to change the employer, who applied for the employee’s H1B visa and acted as a sponsor, it will be possible for the employee to maintain the status only if the new employer takes over the H1B visa and acts as a sponsor. According to the provisions of the law, foreign workers who previously received a visa to work with one employer can change their employer without losing their status if the new employer submits a petition for this employee and follows a similar path and submits Form I-129 together with necessary documents to USCIS.
Spouses and minor children on H1B visa
If you are approved for an H1B visa, your spouse and children under the age of 21 who are not married, can obtain H-4 visa. The validity period of the document is similar to that of the H1B employee. Spouse and children up to the age of dependency cannot work, but can study. In addition, obtaining a B-1 visa is available to the domestic servant of the holder of an H1B visa in the USA with a work permit from the employer.
Additional Important H1B Visa Information
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. This means that it alone does not provide a permanent place of residence. It is also important to note that in order to obtain this visa you need an employer who is ready, willing and able to hire you and sponsor you for this visa.
Assistance with your H1B visa
Law Offices of Alice Antonovsky, PLLC is an immigration law firm and we assist client in obtaining all kinds of employment visas including, H1B visa. We will assist clients in this convoluted process and guide them every step of the way. Our long-term knowledge, experience and a proven track record, will help solve even the most complex issues.
Contact us and Law Offices of Alice Antonovsky, PLLC will do everything to assist you.