News Flash: On April 1, 2004 you will be able to file your H1B Visa for the new fiscal year.
Who is Eligible?
H1B nonimmigrant visa
may be issued to individuals who seek temporary entry in a specialty
occupation as a professional. Some examples of "specialty occupations"
include accountant, computer analyst, engineer, financial analyst,
scientist, architect or lawyer. The petition can be approved with a
combination of college or university course work plus three years work
experience for each year of university education missing. Together
this would be deemed equivalent to a four-year bachelor's degree.
next fiscal year 2004, beginning October 2003, there will be
a maximum of 65,000 H1B visas issued. For more
information on the current H1B Cap
A Labor Condition
Application (LCA) is first filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Then a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with H
Supplement, and supporting documentation including the approved LCA is
filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Regional
Service Center having jurisdiction over the city of intended
employment. A fee is required and the petition must be filed by
a U.S. employer. Once the INS approves the H1B petition, it will
forward the approval to a U.S. Consulate.
For those individuals
seeking to perform temporary services in a specialty occupation, the
petition must be filed with the following documentation:
(a) An approved LCA from the DOL
(b) Documentation that the job
qualifies as a specialty occupation. A "specialty
occupation" is defined as one that requires the theoretical
and practical application of a body of highly specialized
knowledge and the attainment of a baccalaureate degree or higher
as a minimum requirement for entry into the occupation in the
United States. The employer may meet this requirement by showing
that the nature of the specific duties are so complex or unique
that they can be performed only by an individual with the required
degree, or that the employer normally requires a degree or its
equivalent for the position.
(c) A copy of the alien's U.S.
college degree (bachelor's, master's or Ph.D.) and/or foreign
degree with evidence that it is equivalent which must be evaluated
and certified as a education equivalency to a U.S. baccalaureate
degree or higher. Evidence of education, specialized training, or
experience that is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree may
also be submitted to fulfill this requirement. To determine
equivalency to a baccalaureate degree in the specialty, three
years of specialized training and/or work experience must be
demonstrated for each year of college level education that the
alien lacks. To show equivalency to a master's degree, the alien
must have a baccalaureate degree and at least five years of
progressively responsible experience in the specialty.
(d) A copy of any required license
to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment
(e) A copy of any written contract
between the employer and the alien or a summary of the terms under
which the alien will be employed if there is no written agreement.
In the event that the employer
terminates the employment of the alien prior to expiration of the H1B
visa, the employer is responsible for providing return transportation
of the alien to his or her last place of foreign residence.
H1B is approved by INS for an initial period of up to three
years with a total of six years.
106 contains special provisions requiring the INS to grant
extensions, in one-year increments, past the six-year maximum,
in cases of lengthy adjudications. This section only applies to
(1) H1B workers, (2) who are the beneficiaries of EB visa
petitions or who have submitted applications for adjustment of
status, and only if (3) 365 days or more have elapsed since (a)
the filing of an application for a labor certification on their
behalf or (b) the filing of an EB visa petition on their
A spouse or unmarried child
of an H1B visa holder is entitled to an H-4 visa and the same length
of stay as the principal. The spouse and dependent minor children
cannot accept employment, but can attend school in the United States.
Servants of an H1B visa holder can receive a B-1