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A Brief Guide to H-1B Visas

by | Jan 29, 2021 | Firm News

While there have been moves to restrict immigration to the United States in recent years, immigrants who wish to move to the U.S., either temporarily or permanently, still have options. The difficulty is determining which type of visa will help you best achieve your goals.

H-1B visas are reserved for employers who want to sponsor a worker in a specialty occupation to bring their talents to the U.S. Typically, these individuals work in highly specialized fields. This visa program allows employers to sponsor workers in areas of employment that have a high level of demand. Whether you are a business owner or a worker who resides in a foreign country, it’s useful to have a basic understanding of the H-1B visa program to help you better understand whether this is the best option for you.

The visa does not grant permanent residency

H-1B visas are nonimmigrant work visas. In other words, they grant visa holders a temporary stay in the U.S. for work purposes. Though the H-1B visa does not provide permanent resident status, there is a path for a U.S. employer to sponsor the H-1B employee for permanent resident status if they want to.

Eligibility requirements

You have to meet certain requirements to be eligible for the H-1B visa. At a minimum, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in a field that is related to the H-1B position. Though it is possible to qualify for an H-1B position based on experience in the field that is equivalent to the specific degree, the case will be strongest for an applicant who has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

You do not have to be in the U.S. to file

Unlike some visas, you don’t have to be present in the United States at the time of your filing. The H-1B employer will file the petition on behalf of the worker and if the H-1B petition is approved, the worker will be able to apply for an H-1B visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad and then to enter the U.S. in H-1B status.

Immigration issues are complicated and are subject to change. You should always work closely with a skilled legal professional to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.