The H1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers. For this visa, an employer must offer a job in the US and apply for your H1B visa petition with the US Immigration Department. This approved petition is a work permit which allows you to obtain a visa stamp and work in the U.S. for that employer.
The visa allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc. Any professional level job that usually requires you to have a bachelors degree or higher can come under the H-1B visa for specialty occupations. If you do not have a bachelors degree or higher you may be able to show degree equivalence through work experience and/or other qualifications.
- For a specialty occupation H1B petition, the employee must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent experience.
- The employer for an H1B petition must obtain a labor condition application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor before filing the H1B petition with the USCIS.
- An employee who has previously received an H1B visa, or been granted H1B status is generally exempt from the numerical limitations.
- An employee who is presently employed in H1B status may utilize the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) to transition their H1B to a different employer.
- The spouse and minor child/ren of an H1B employee are authorized to live in the United States in H-4 status, and to study, but are not permitted to work.