H-1B VISA - PERSON IN SPECIALTY OCCUPATION
The H-1B Program permits US companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. The principal applicant may also seek admission to the United States for family members, including the applicant's spouse and children under 21 years, in the H-4 non-immigrant classification.
H-1B Visa Eligibility Criteria - Job
To qualify for an H-1B visa, the job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:
- Bachelors or Higher Degree - or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position.
- Degree is Required for the Job - 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.
- Employer Requires a Person with Degree - the employer usually requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
- Specialized Duties - the nature of the specific duties are 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.
H-1B Visa Eligibility Criteria - Applicant
To accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following qualifying criteria:
- US Bachelors Degree - have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
- Foreign Degree - hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
- State License - hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
- Education, Training or Experience equivalent to a Degree - have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.
H-1B Application Process
The following steps are required to apply for an H-1B visa:
1. Labour Condition Application
- Specialty occupation and Fashion model employers must obtain a certification of an LCA from the Department of Labor (DOL), which protects the workers rights to fair wages and working conditions.
2. Form I-129
- Employer submits completed Form I-129 (Petition for a Non-Immigrant worker) to the appropriate USCIS Service center.
3. Prospective Worker applies for Visa
- Prospective worker applies for the H-1B visa and admission at the US Consulate, in their country of residence.
H-1B Cap Count - FY 2019
On 6 April 2018, USCIS reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019. USCIS also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption (the master’s cap).
Note that USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.
H-1B Regular Cap
- Cap Amount is 65,000.
H-1B Masters Exemption
- Cap Amount is 20,000.
Workers not subject to the Cap
- the following H-1B workers are not subject to the Cap: petitioned or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization.
H-1B2 Visa - DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker
To qualify as a DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker, the job must meet both of the following criteria:
1. Government to Government Agreement for Research Project
- The cooperative research and development project or a co-production project is provided for under a government-to-government agreement administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.
2. Bachelors or Higher Degree
- A Bachelors or higher degree or its equivalent is required to perform the duties.
H-1B3 Visa - Fashion Model
The position or services must require a Fashion Model of 'prominence'.
- The applicant must be a Fashion Model of 'distinguished merit and ability'.