The H–1B visa category permits a professional to work in the United States temporarily, provided he or she is employed in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model. There are a limited number of available H-1B visas each year and the allotment is often used up quite quickly so planning and timing is important in this category.
A specialty occupation means an occupation that requires:
i. A theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, andii. Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.
For the purposes of the H–1B visa the requirements of a specialty occupation are:
i. Full state licensure to practice in the occupation, if such licensure is required to practice in the occupation;
ii. Completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher in the occupation; or
iii. Experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree, and recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty.
H-1B eligible specialty occupations include most computer science jobs, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, the arts, and many teaching positions.
The H–1B visa has many advantages including:
- It is typically available for up to 6 years, at 3-year increments.
- Labor certification is not a requirement for issuance of an H–1B visa although the employer must file a labor condition application with the Department of Labor.
- Dual intent applies to the H–1B visa, thus permitting filing of a green card application once the alien is in H–1B visa status.
- A person in possession of a valid H-1B visa may change employers immediately upon the filing of an H–1B change of employer petition.
- The ability to extend an H-1B visa beyond the normal 6-year limit if the applicant has had a labor certification or I–140 petition pending for 1 year or more.
If you would like to learn more about your specific visa options please send a request to us at:
Leibl and Kirkwood PC
12625 High Bluff Drive
San Diego, CA 92130
Tel. (858) 481-5211
Fax. (858) 481-7271