What is H1B Visa?
H1B visa is a type of non-immigrant visa in the United States that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. Examples of such fields include IT, finance, engineering, architecture, and healthcare. The visa is granted for three years, with the option to extend for an additional three years. the H1B visa is a popular visa among employers and foreign workers alike. It provides an opportunity for both parties to benefit from the arrangement, but there are also some risks and restrictions associated with it. The requirements for obtaining an H1B visa are strict, and employers must be willing to pay the prevailing wage for the position.
The H1B visa offers several advantages to both employers and foreign workers. For employers, it allows them to hire skilled workers from abroad who may not be available domestically. This can help them fill positions that are in high demand but may not have enough qualified applicants. For foreign workers, it provides an opportunity to work in the US and gain valuable experience and skills.
Do I Qualify for an H1B Visa?
Congratulations if you qualify for an H1B visa! If not, there are other work visas available in the U.S. that you can look into. Have a look at the comprehensive list of work visas available. To qualify, you must meet one of the following three educational requirements:
- Are you in possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant area of study from an accredited college or university?
- Have you accumulated 12 years of progressive responsibility in this particular specialty?Alternatively, do you have a combination of education and related professional experience in the same specialty? Generally, three years of specialized experience is equal to one year of college education.
If you have a three-year associate degree, you need to have at least three years’ worth of relevant work experience after graduation to qualify for an H1B Visa. If your degree was obtained from a foreign country, it must be recognized as the equivalent of a degree earned in the United States.
If you’re looking to take up a job that necessitates a license or professional accreditation (like IT specialists, Architects, CPA, Dentist, Attorney, Accountants, Professors, Doctors, Lawyers, etc.), you must already possess those credentials prior to the H1B visa request being submitted, or else the licensure requirement will be waived.
H1B Visa Dates in 2024
The registration periods for the fiscal year 2024 H1B Visa cap are as follows:
• March 1, 2023 – Petitioners (employers) can start creating an H1B registrant account at noon US Eastern time.
• March 17, 2023 – H1B registration period. The registration period opens and closes at noon US Eastern time.
• March 31 – By this date, the USCIS will have notified the selected entrants.
• April 1 – if your employer’s petition was selected, this is the earliest date that you may submit an application for an H1B visa for FY 2024.
Requirements for H1B Visa?
The requirements for an H1B visa include the following:
- Job offer: The foreign worker must have a job offer from a US employer in a specialty occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent: The foreign worker must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the field related to the job offer.
- Labor Condition Application (LCA): The US employer must file an LCA with the Department of Labor, certifying that the foreign worker will be paid the same wage as US workers in the same job and that working conditions will not be adverse.
- Petitions: The US employer must file a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign worker.
- Annual Quota: There is an annual quota of H1B visas available each fiscal year, which typically starts on October 1. The quotas are often met quickly, and visas are granted on a lottery system.
- Adequate funding: The US employer must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to pay the foreign worker’s salary.
- Proof of qualifications: The foreign worker must provide proof of their qualifications, including transcripts and certificates, to USCIS.
It is important to note that meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval of an H1B visa. The USCIS has the discretion to approve or deny an H1B visa based on a variety of factors, including the employer’s ability to pay the foreign worker’s salary, the foreign worker’s qualifications, and the annual quotas. An immigration attorney can provide guidance on the application process and help ensure that all requirements are met.
Who can sponsor H1B Visa?
A US employer can sponsor an H1B visa for a foreign worker. The employer must demonstrate a need for a foreign worker in a specialty occupation and that the foreign worker is qualified for the job. The employer must also file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor, certifying that the foreign worker will be paid the same wage as US workers in the same job and that working conditions will not be adverse. The employer must also file a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign worker. The USCIS has the discretion to approve or deny the H1B visa based on a variety of factors,
Any organization with an office in the US can sponsor an H1B visa, whether it’s a small business or a large corporation. However, the USCIS has certain requirements that must be met by the company who is filing your visa. This ensures they have the financial means to pay you in accordance with US Department of Labor regulations through the LCA. We’ll provide more information on this below.
what is H1B LCA? Why required?
The H1B Labor Condition Application (LCA) is a document that must be filed by a US employer before they can sponsor a foreign worker for an H1B visa. The LCA is used to certify to the Department of Labor (DOL) that the employer will pay the foreign worker the same wage as US workers in the same job and that working conditions will not be adverse.
In that Documents, they should indicate the number of years that how long they plan to employ foreign workers. This form guarantees the US and the employees that this employer will:
• Pay the foreign employee the full prevailing wage.
• Provide an adequate working environment and conditions.
• Notify the employee of any changes made in the labor certification.
• Notify the government of the location where the work will be performed.
• Provide company information and the number of employees.
• State employee job description and income.
The LCA is required because it helps protect the rights of US and foreign workers by ensuring that the foreign worker will be paid fairly and will not displace US workers. By filing an LCA, the employer is making certain promises to the DOL regarding the conditions of employment for the foreign worker, including the wage to be
what is H1B Visa Cap? Regular vs Masters quota ?
The H1B visa cap refers to the annual numerical limit on the number of H1B visas that can be issued by the US government each fiscal year. The cap was established by Congress in order to regulate the number of foreign workers who can enter the US on H1B visas.
There are Three different H1B visa caps:
1- The regular cap is set at 65,000 visas per fiscal year,
2- the advanced degree cap is set at 20,000 visas per fiscal year for foreign workers with a master’s degree or higher from a US institution.
3- Chile-Singapore Cap is seat at 6800 visa per fiscal year for chile and Singapore workers.
It should be noted that there are exemptions to the H1B visa cap for certain categories of foreign workers, such as those who work for universities, non-profit organizations, and government research institutions. Additionally, H1B visas that are granted to workers who are exempt from the cap do not count towards the cap. Due to the high demand for H1B visas, the cap is often reached quickly, and visas are granted on a lottery system. If the cap is reached, foreign workers who do not receive an H1B visa may have to wait until the next fiscal year to apply again.
How to Apply for the H1B Visa?
Applying for a non-immigrant visa is often a more straightforward process than applying for a green card. Nevertheless, getting an H1B visa can be difficult because of the limitation of visas available. It’s important to remember that an H1B visa must be obtained through an employer and is not something you can do independently from India. Additionally, if you switch employers, it can have an effect on your visa status. Unfortunately, family members in the U.S. are unable to sponsor an H1B visa either.
Here is a quick steps you need to know in order to apply for the H1B Visa:
1. Make sure you qualify for the H1B visa.
2. Find a petitioner by applying for a job opening in the United States.
3. Have the petitioning initiated by your employer.
4. Apply for the H1B visa at the nearest US Embassy/Consulate in your home country.
Steps to Apply for an H1B Visa
The entire process for an H1-B cap petition is divided into five steps.
Step 1: Register for an H1-B visa within the registration deadline
Step 2: If you are chosen in the lottery, you must file an H1-B petition
Step 3: Get approval from USCIS
Step 4: If overseas, apply for a visa
Step 5: Start working for a company or organization based in the US
Required Documents for an H1B Visa Application
An H1-B visa petition requires the submission of several documents.The list below is not exhaustive, and the documentation may vary depending on the facts of the case:
• A thorough job profile and description
• A photocopy of the CV of the foreign national
• Documentation or certificates, together with an educational evaluation
• Prior employers’ statements of reference (if applicable)
• Passport(s) with the biographical page(s) for the appellant and any relatives joining them
• A job description showing that a bachelor’s degree is required for the job
• Job listings for the relevant professional position
• Statements from professional associations in the Industry that a bachelor’s degree in a specific field is usually required for the job (if applicable)
• Employment Contract in writing or synopsis of mutual oral consent
• Federal tax returns
• Business plan
• Proof of licensing (if required)
• Status documents if the person is already in the U.S and Is filing a change of status or an extension.
what is H1B Visa filing fee? Who Pays?
the cost of filing an H1B visa application varies depending on the type of application being filed. The standard filing fee for an H1B visa is $460. This fee covers the cost of processing the application and includes a $320 base fee and a $140 fraud prevention and detection fee. In addition to the standard filing fee, employers may also be required to pay an additional fee of $750 or $1,500 depending on the size of their company. the H1B visa filing fee consists of several components:
- H1B visa petition fee: The petition fee, also known as the base fee, is $460 and is paid by the employer.
- ACWIA fee: The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) fee is $750 or $1,500, depending on the size of the employer. The fee is paid by the employer.
- Fraud Prevention and Detection fee: The Fraud Prevention and Detection fee is $500 and is paid by the employer.
- Premium Processing fee (optional): The Premium Processing fee is an optional fee of $1,440 and is paid by the employer or the employee. It expedites the processing time for the H1B visa petition to 15 days.
- Attorney Fees (vary):
The Law offices of Prashanthi Reddy, our H-1B attorney fees vary depending on the firm. As the stages are now structured, only certain companies will file the entire petitions. Our legal fees are structured in tiers as follows:
- $550 for the registration process, and this includes all necessary analysis of your case.
- $1,900, you will pay it for the form/support letter preparation and filing, If your case is chosen in the lottery.
- $500–$1,500 will be the cost of a Request For Evidence (RFE) response, should one later be issued on the case.
when can you file H1B visa? Anytime During Year?
The H1B visa can be filed during the H1B visa filing season, which begins on the first business day of April each year. U.S. employers can submit H1B visa petitions for foreign workers up to 6 months in advance of the start date of employment. The start date of employment cannot be earlier than October 1st of the same year.It is important to note that there is a limited number of H1B visas available each year and they are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, it is recommended to file the H1B visa petition as early as possible within the H1B filing season to increase the chances of being selected.
What is H1b Visa Petition?
An H1B visa petition is a formal request by a U.S. employer to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to allow a foreign national to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation. The petition must be submitted by the employer on behalf of the foreign national and include evidence that the foreign national is qualified for the position offered, that the position is a specialty occupation, and that the foreign national will be paid a fair wage for the services to be rendered.
The H1B visa petition must be approved by USCIS before the foreign national can apply for an H1B visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Once the H1B visa petition is approved, the foreign national can apply for an H1B visa and, if approved, enter the U.S. to work in the specialty occupation for up to three years, with the possibility of extension for an additional three years.
what is H1b Petitioning Process for Employers?
The H1B petitioning process for employers involves the following steps:
1-Determine eligibility: The employer must determine if the job and foreign worker are eligible for H1B visa classification.
2-Obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL): The employer must file an LCA with the DOL, certifying that the working conditions for the foreign worker will be similar to those of similarly situated U.S. workers, and that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.
3-Prepare and file the H1B petition: The employer must prepare and file the H1B petition, including the LCA, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition must demonstrate that the foreign worker is qualified for the job and that the job is a specialty occupation, requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher.
4-Pay the required fees: The employer must pay the H1B petition filing fee and any other applicable fees.
5- Wait for USCIS decision: The employer must wait for the USCIS to make a decision on the petition. If approved, the foreign worker can then apply for an H1B visa, if outside the U.S., or for a change of status, if inside the U.S.
It’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to ensure the process is carried out correctly.
How long does USCIS Accept H1B Visa Applications?
USCIS typically accepts H1B visa applications during a specific filing period, known as the H1B cap season. The H1B cap season usually starts on the first business day in April and runs until the H1B cap is reached, which is typically within a few weeks.For the fiscal year 2022 (October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022), USCIS accepted H1B visa petitions between March 9, 2021, and March 25, 2021. It’s important to note that the H1B cap season can change from year to year, and that there may also be changes to the H1B visa program, including new regulations or changes to the application process, so it’s advisable to check the latest information from USCIS.
It’s also worth mentioning that there are certain exemptions from the H1B cap, such as for H1B visa holders who have already been counted towards the cap in a previous year, or for foreign workers who are employed at institutions of higher education or affiliated nonprofit organizations. These exemptions may allow for H1B visas to be filed and approved outside of the H1B cap season.
what is H1B Visa lottery?
The H1B visa lottery is the process used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to randomly select a sufficient number of H1B visa petitions to meet the annual cap on H1B visas. The annual cap is set by Congress and is currently set at 85,000 visas per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 visas available for foreign workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Due to the high demand for H1B visas and the limited number available each year, not all H1B visa petitions are accepted. When the number of H1B visa petitions received by USCIS during the filing period exceeds the annual cap, USCIS conducts the H1B visa lottery to determine which petitions will be accepted for processing.
In the H1B visa lottery, USCIS first selects enough petitions to meet the 20,000 visa limit for foreign workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. The remaining petitions are then selected in a separate lottery to meet the 65,000 visa limit for all other foreign workers. The outcome of the H1B visa lottery can have a significant impact on both employers and foreign workers, as those who are not selected may have to wait another year to apply for an H1B visa, or look for alternative visa options.
When to plan for filing H1B Visa?
You can make plan for filling H1b Visa 6 month Before the start of your actual work. The H1B visa filing process typically begins in early April for an October 1 start date, as the USCIS accepts H1B visa petitions for the next fiscal year starting April 1. It is recommended to start the planning process several months in advance, to ensure that all required documents and procedures are in order and to allow enough time for any potential issues to be addressed.
How to find H1B Sponsors?
Searching for an H1B sponsor is certainly one of the most commonly asked queries. There are a variety of methods, but one of the most straightforward is to look for an organization that has sponsored H1B visas in the past and secure employment with them so they can submit a petition on your behalf. Another option is to complete an internship with such a company and then request sponsorship. A third option is to work for a multinational corporation in your home country and ask them to sponsor an H1B visa. Here are some ways to find H1B sponsors:
- Online job search websites: Many employers post job listings on websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn that specify sponsorship requirements, including H1B visas.
- Company websites: Check the careers or job opportunities section of company websites to see if they sponsor H1B visas.
- Professional networks: Reach out to industry professionals, alumni, and college career centers to inquire about companies that sponsor H1B visas.
- Immigration attorneys: An immigration attorney can help you identify potential H1B sponsors and provide guidance on the visa application process.
- Consult with a placement agency: Some placement agencies specialize in placing foreign workers with companies that sponsor H1B visas.
Remember, it’s important to research each potential sponsor carefully and verify their ability to sponsor H1B visas before accepting any job offer.
Various Steps after filing H1B Visa?
After filing an H1B visa, the following steps typically occur:
- Receipt Notice: You will receive a receipt notice from the USCIS, acknowledging that they have received your petition.
- Processing Time: The processing time for H1B visas can vary, but typically takes several months. You can check the status of your case on the USCIS website.
- RFE (Request for Evidence): The USCIS may request additional evidence to support your petition. You will have a limited time to respond to the RFE.
- Approval or Denial: If your petition is approved, you will receive an approval notice from the USCIS. If your petition is denied, you will receive a notice of denial, explaining the reason for the denial.
- Visa Stamping: If you are outside the United States, you will need to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate to have your visa stamped in your passport. This is the final step before you can travel to the U.S. and start working.
- Arrival in the U.S.: After arriving in the U.S., you must report to your employer and start working in the job and under the terms described in your H1B petition.
How to check My H1B Status Updates?
You can check the status of your H1B visa application through the USCIS website. Here’s how:
- Go to the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov)
- Click on “Check My Case Status” on the homepage
- Enter your receipt number, which can be found on the receipt notice you received from the USCIS when you filed your H1B petition.
- Click on “Check Status” to view the current status of your H1B case.
- Note: It can take several weeks or months for the USCIS to process your H1B visa application, so be patient and
What are various H1B Statuses – What do they mean ?
Here are some of the common H1B visa status updates that you may see on the USCIS website:
- Acceptance: This means that the USCIS has received and accepted your H1B petition.
Initial Review: The USCIS is reviewing your petition to determine if it is complete and meets all requirements.
- Request for Evidence (RFE): The USCIS has requested additional information or documentation to support your petition.
- Case Was Approved: Your H1B visa petition has been approved, and you will receive a notice of approval in the mail.
- Case Was Denied: Your H1B visa petition has been denied, and you will receive a notice of denial in the mail.
- Case Is Closed: The USCIS has closed your case, either because it was approved, denied, or withdrawn.
- Decision Notice Mailed: The USCIS has made a decision on your H1B petition and has mailed the decision notice to the address on file.
- Case Transferred: The USCIS has transferred your case to another USCIS office for processing.
- Case Is Pending: Your H1B petition is still being processed by the USCIS
what are the Types of H1B Processing? H1B Visa Processing Time?
The H1B visa is a type of visa that allows foreign workers to come to the United States to work in specialty occupations. There are two types of H1B processing:
3-Expedited H1B visa processing
Regular processing is the standard method of applying for an H1B visa, while premium processing is an expedited method of applying for an H1B visa. Both types of processing have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand the differences between them in order to make an informed decision when applying for an H1B visa. And Expedited H1B Visa Processing, If you’ve submitted your petition under regular processing and you haven’t heard anything back from USCIS yet due to the amount of work they have to manage, you have the option to upgrade it to premium processing for a fee. By doing this, you will receive a decision from USCIS within 15 days.
How Long Do I Have to Wait for H1b Processing?
The USCIS offers two processing methods: Regular Processing and Premium Processing. Processing times for Form I-129 (H-1B) at the USCIS (CSC) can range from as short as two months to as long as thirteen months. On average, it usually takes between 6-8 months. If you opt for Premium Processing, your request will generally be approved within 15 Business days of being submitted to the USCIS.
what is H1B Visa Stamping?
H-1B visa stamping is an important part of the immigration process for those looking to work in the United States. The visa stamping is the process of having your passport stamped with an H-1B visa, which grants you permission to work in the US. This visa is typically granted to those who have a college degree or higher, due to their advanced education and training. The visa stamping process is usually done at a US consulate abroad, and involves providing proof of your education and work experience, as well as submitting a valid passport and other documentation. Once approved, you will be issued an H-1B visa stamp, which will allow you to enter the US and begin working in the profession for which you have been granted the visa.
When can you go for H1B stamping after Approval?
Once your H1B petition is approved, you need to proceed to the next step of the process which is to apply for the H1B visa stamp on your passport. You can do this at the local US embassy or consulate in your country of residence. It is important to note that you can only apply for H1B visa stamping at the embassy within a certain period of time after your petition has been approved. This period of time is usually between 30 to 90 days after the approval of your petition. You should check with the embassy for exact details on when you can apply for the H1B visa stamping.
When to enter US after H1B stamping?
Once you have obtained your H-1B visa, you are ready to travel to the U.S. and begin your new job! The I-797 form that you received when you applied for your visa will indicate the earliest date that you are allowed to enter the U.S. in H-1B status. This date is typically 10 days prior to the start date indicated on the form. It is important to abide by this regulation, as entering the U.S. too early could potentially result in complications or even denial of entry. To ensure a smooth transition, plan your travel accordingly and make sure to arrive no earlier than 10 days prior to the start date indicated on your I-797 form.
When can you start to work on H1B? Delayed entry to US?
Technically, you can start work on your H1B visa after you enter the US on your H1B visa. The start date for your H1B visa is usually the start date listed on your H1B approval notice. However, there may be times when you or your employer need to delay your entry to the US for various reasons. In these cases, you can still begin work on your H1B visa as long as you enter the US before the expiration date listed on your H1B approval notice. It is important to note that if you delay your entry to the US, you will not be able to work until you have entered the US.
what is Port of Entry? Process for H1B Visa Holders?
Port of entry is an important step in the H1B visa process. It is the first place that a visa holder will enter the United States, whether it is an airport, border checkpoint, or sea port. Upon arriving at the port of entry, the visa holder will be interviewed by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. The officer may ask questions about the visa holder’s purpose in the United States and the visa holder’s background and documents. If the CBP officer is satisfied with the answers and documents provided, they will scan the visa holder’s documents, take their photograph, and allow them to enter the United States.
what is H1B Visa Transfer? Change Employers?
H1B Visa Transfer is a process that allows foreign workers to change employers while still maintaining their existing H1B status. It is important to note that there is no actual transferring of the visa – your new employer will file a new H1B petition for you. This new petition will include information about your current H1B status and details about your new employer. The process is quite simple, and it can be done quickly and efficiently. Once the new petition is approved, you will be able to start working for your new employer with the same visa. This process is beneficial for both employers and employees, as it allows for a smooth transition from one job to another.
What is the maximum time limit to work on H1B visa in US ?
As per the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations, you can stay in the US for a maximum of 6 years on an H1B visa. This visa is usually granted for a period of 3 years and can be extended for another 3 years upon filing an extension. During this period, you can work with the same employer or change employers, as long as all USCIS regulations are followed. After 6 years, you must leave the US and wait for a period of one year before applying for another H1B visa. It is important to note that the 6-year period is cumulative, meaning that if you have already spent some time in the US on an H1B visa, the 6-year limit begins from the day you entered the US on the H1B visa.
How Long Can I Stay in the US with an H1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is a great option for those looking to live and work in the United States for a limited period of time. It is designed for those in specialty occupations, such as those in the fields of medicine, engineering, and technology. The initial period of stay for those in H-1B status is three (3) years, with extensions available for up to three (3) years thereafter. This means that, with the right paperwork, you could stay in the US for up to six years in total. It is important to note, however, that the H-1B visa is not a permanent residency visa and you will need to leave the US when your visa period expires.
How to Extend the H1B Visa?
Extending an H1B visa is an important step for foreign workers who wish to stay in the US beyond the initial three-year period. To obtain an extension, the employer must file a new Form I-129 and submit additional filing fees. The form must include evidence of the employee’s continued eligibility for the visa, including proof of the employer’s ability to pay the employee’s wages. The employee must also demonstrate that they have not abandoned their US residency. The extension will be granted only if all requirements are met. In some cases, extensions may be granted for up to six years. With the right preparation and guidance, extending an H1B visa can help foreign workers stay in the US and continue to make valuable contributions to their employers and the US economy.
What Is H1B Amendment
An H1B amendment is a request to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to update the terms and conditions of the H1B worker’s employment. A material change is defined as any significant change to the terms and conditions of the H1B worker’s employment such as the job title, job duties, salary, or location. An H1B amendment must be filed with the USCIS if any of these changes occur in order to keep the H1B worker’s status valid. Examples of changes that require an H1B amendment include a change in job title, job duties, salary, or location. It is important to note that an H1B amendment is required anytime a material change occurs in the terms and conditions of the H1B worker’s employment.
Can I Bring My Spouse With Me?
H-4 visas are available to the spouses and unmarried children under 21 of H-1B visa holders. This means that if you are an H-1B temporary worker, you can bring your family members with you to the United States. Your spouse and children will need to apply for H-4 visas in order to come to the U.S. with you.
which companies sponsor h1b visa
Top 10 companies that continuously hire by sponsoring H-1b Visa :
• Tata Consultancy Services
• HCL America