H1-B Visa

the H-1B allows dual intent, unlike the Student visa that does not allow you to have the intention to immigrate.

What Is H1-B

An H1B visa permits foreign nationals to engage in “specialized occupations” in the United States. A specialized occupation requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience. Unlike the L1 Visa, which is valid for seven years, the H1-B visa remains valid for a maximum of six years. Although you can also apply for an extension beyond six years provided-

  1. At least 365 days have passed since the foreign national filed any labor certification application, Form ETA 750, required or used by the foreigner to attain EB immigrant status or an EB immigrant petition was filed.
  2. If the I-140 application is approved but the visa numbers are unavailable to file the I-485, the client will be granted a three-year extension.

Who Qualifies?

In order to qualify as a speciality occupation the position must meet the following criteria:

Have a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree. The Specialty occupation can be from any of the below disciplines but is not always restricted to:

  • Architecture
  • Accounting
  • Scientific disciplines such as Mathematics, sociology, physical sciences
  • Medical and healthcare
  • Schooling & education
  • Business
  • Legal
  • Systems analysts
  • Journalists and editors
  • Psychologists

Each year, only 65,000 H1-B numbers are allocated by the USCIS. An extra 20,000 H1-B visas are given to people with advanced academic qualifications from an accredited United States organization.H1-B visa users are entitled to switch jobs subject to fulfilling certain conditions. In addition, H1-B visa holders can apply for permanent residence. This is because the H-1B allows dual intent, unlike the Student visa that does not allow you to have the intention to immigrate.

List Of Required Documents?

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.
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Other Type Of Work Visa

Processing Time for H1-B Visas

H1-B non-immigrant Visa processing times might vary based on the service center you submit your application to and the type of processing service (Standard or Premium).

Adjudication of H1-B petitions usually take 4-5 months on the part of USCIS unless Premium Processing is requested.

How to Apply for an H1-B cap petition?

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

Who Can Apply for an H1-B Visa?

Any US employer can apply for an H1-B visa. The US employer is referred to as a petitioner in this case. The foreign national is referred to as the beneficiary.A petitioner is required to:

  • Issue an employment contract for the beneficiary
  • Hold a legitimate employer and employee connection with the recipient
  • Have a non speculative job offer that qualifies as a speciality occupation

Given the complexities of applying for an H1-B Visa, it is best for any foreign national to consult and, if needed, request assistance from an immigration attorney.Ever since its inception, the Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, a NYC-based immigration law practice, has submitted many H1-B applications. As a result, our attorneys  are well versed in H1-B cases. That’s the reason why we can foresee problems and provide appropriate advice at the right moment.

Because a lot of our work at the Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, is employment-based immigration, we are in a unique position to advise our clients on best practices at the time of submitting H-1B cases.For more information contact The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy at prashanthi@reddyesq.com, or by calling 212-354-1010. Our Immigration Attorney Also Provide Immigration Services to Other U.S State As Well new YorkFlorida,  New JerseyTexas, and  California .


The primary criterion for a person’s eligibility for an H1B visa is to have a valid job offer from a US Employer, in a speciality occupation that requires specialized knowledge and the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in that specific speciality. The beneficiary should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the specific speciality. 

The work authorization under an H1B visa is strictly limited to employment by the sponsoring employer. For a visa holder to stay in status, he has to be continuously employed with the employer and should be engaged in a speciality occupation. The issuance of an H1B visa is given initially for three years.

USCIS issues the visa initially for three years, and your employer can request an extension for three more years. The person has to be continuously employed by the employer to stay in status and leave the country otherwise. If one is switching to a different employer, the new employer should  file a petition on your behalf. In certain circumstances an extension can be granted for more than 6 years.

The extension of an H1B visa is possible multiple times, subject to the condition the holder remains eligible as per immigration guidelines. The extension can be given beyond 6 years if the beneficiary has an I-140 Immigrant petition approval or if the Labor Certification or I-140 is pending for a period of 365 days.

The standard fee for H1B I-129 filing is $460. There may be other fees associated with the petition also, depending on the number of employees and if the company is H-1 be dependent, this could bring the fees up to over $2,000.

It refers to the period when the F-1 change of status to H-1b is pending. During this time the USCIS grants the same benefits to the F-1 student that they had at the time of filing of the H-1b petition, even though that F-1 status might expire after filing, because of the long wait for processing of the H-1b and the fact that the H-1b cap is valid from October 1 of that year, the start of the new Fiscal year, petitions are usually filed 6 months in advance.

Employers like certain Universities, non-profits and government research organizations are exempt from the H1B cap as they can file for H1B applications with USCIS at any point in time.

No, the H-1b visa does not automatically lead to a Green Card. H1B visa holders are eligible to file a green card through their employer or through certain types of family relationships.

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