The US H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in architecture, engineering, mathematics, science and medicine.
Individuals are not able to apply for an H-1B visa to allow them to work in the US The employer must petition for entry of the employee. H-1B visas are subject to annual numerical limits. US employers can begin applying for the H-1B visa six months before the actual start date of the visa.
To apply for a specific job and a H-1B Visa you must meet one of the following criteria
- Have completed a US bachelor's or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
- Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a US bachelor's or higher degree in the specialty occupation
- Hold an unrestricted state license, registration or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
- Have education, training or experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty
- The H-1B Visa is initially granted for up to three years, but may then be extended to a maximum of six years.
- Applying to a H-1B Visa is a way to extend a post-completion OPT.
- H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the US under the H4 Visa category as dependents.