A maximum of 65,000 H1-B visas are issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year. This visa is required if a foreign professional wishes to come into the United States to work. USCIS has announced April 2, 2018 as the deadline for accepting new H1-B petitions for the fiscal year 2019.
Foreign employees requiring the H1-B work visa should have their employers apply on their behalf. Additionally, workers who may be on other work-related visas like L-1, TN, O-1, or E-3 who need to convert to the H1-B status can also put in their name in the computer-generated ballot. This also applies to foreign students who are expected to graduate and start a new job under the H1-B visa category.
Are you Eligible?
In order to qualify for the H1-B visa, one must have –
- At least a bachelor’s degree;
- Belong to a specialized occupation falling under the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) fields;
- Be able to apply theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge;
- The US employer justify the exclusive need for you and your expertise over that of a local citizen who may either be unavailable or not qualified, either academically or professionally.
How to Apply for the H1-B?
- The US employer must apply for a Labor Condition Application (LCA), with the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and get it approved. This should be done well in advance in order to be able to timely file for the H1-B petition.
- The petitioning employer should be able to attest accurate wage rates commensurate with market conditions.
- The petitioning employer should then apply for the H1-B visa with the USCIS on behalf of the employee.
- The application should include all supporting documents, approved LCA, and filling fee.
- Ensure the entire petition requirements, application and supporting documents are prepared and filed well in time within the filing window since the total cap of 65,000 is usually met within a couple of days.
- The application packet should normally be ready to be mailed/submitted by March 30, 2018, for delivery to USCIS on April 2, 2018, which is the first day of the filing period.
- H-1B Visa Petition Requirements has more details pertaining to H1-B visa applications.