VISAS - H1B Visa

The H-1B non-immigrant visa is used by companies and other organizations to employ foreign nationals temporarily who qualify as persons in "specialty occupations" eg.  Health care professionals; university professors and other teachers;

Engineers, systems analysts and other computer professionals; financial analysts and other persons in advanced business specialties; communications specialists; production managers; accountants, lawyers, architects and other service professionals.

The position to be filled can be permanent in nature, but the employer’s intention must be to employ the alien temporarily in the position.

The potential employee must have attained a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The employer must pay the employee the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment, unless the actual wage being paid by the employer is higher.

Prior to filing the H-1B application, the employer must file a "labor condition application" with the Department of Labor in order to obtain the prevailing wage determination for the specific occupation.

The employee may be admitted to the US. in H-1 B status for the period of time required by the employer, up to a maximum initial period of stay of three years. Extensions of stay, up to a maximum of three additional years are permissible, for a total period of six years, provided that the job is still ongoing and that the employment has not been terminated.

There is presently a cap of 65,000 visas per year, however there is no cap on the number of visas issued for holders of masters degrees or higher.  

The application is filed with the USCIS on Form I-129, along with supporting documents, including the educational credentials of the beneficiary.