H-1B Visa Lawyer

Specialty Occupations Visa

The H-1B Visa is for university graduates and members of the professions that are coming to the United States to work in a specialty occupation. An H-1B candidate must either have a U.S. bachelor's degree, or an equivalent foreign degree. In some cases, 12 years or more of relevant work experience in a specialty occupation can be used to show equivalency to a U.S. bachelor's degree for an H-1B petition.

The principal requirements to apply for an H-1B Visa, besides the academic qualifications or relevant work experience, are:

  • that there is a job offer and Visa sponsorship by a U.S. company that is financially able to pay the worker's salary;
  • that the H-1B worker will be paid the prevailing wage for his occupation or more;
  • that the U.S. company shows that the job offer is related to the worker's qualifications.

The H-1B Visa is initially issued for a period of 3 years, and may be renewed for another 3-year term. Further extensions are granted only in very few instances.

After holding the H1B Visa for 6 years, the law requires a foreign worker to spend at least 1 year outside the United States before obtaining a new H-1B Visa. This rule does not apply if the foreign worker can be approved for an O-1 Visa for extraordinary ability.

The H-1B is a non-immigrant Visa, but allows dual-intent. In other words, an H1B Visa holder may lawfully seek to obtain permanent residency (Green Card) while working in the United States.

As an immigration lawyer in New York, I helped many companies sponsor specialized employees for the H-1B Visa, including applications for extension, recapture of time, and self-sponsored petitions under the new H-1B Visa for Entrepreneurs.

The spouse and children of an H-1B worker may come to the U.S. as dependents in H-4 status, but are not authorized to work unless they apply for their own work Visa.

Contact a New York Immigration Attorney to handle your H-1B Visa

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