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The H-1B visa process

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2021 | immigration |

The H-1B visa program allows business owners in California to sponsor foreign workers interested in America. The non-immigrant visa is valid for six years, but workers may find it possible to adjust their status while in the country to allow for a continued stay.

Eligibility Requirements

H-1B visa applicants must perform job duties in a “specialty” occupation. These occupations require workers to demonstrate a measurable degree of both practical and theoretical applications.

Applicants must possess at least a bachelor’s degree and have specialized knowledge in their field. The applicant must show an established relationship with an employer and accept a job paying the industry norm. Job fields that are common to the H-1B employment immigration process include:

  • Biotechnology
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Scientific research
  • Information technology

Quota System

The cap for H-1B visa recipients is set at 65,000 by the United States government. An additional 20,000 visas are available to workers who earn a master’s degree while in America.

A yearly application deadline is set each year for employer H-1B visa petitions. Employers who do not file by this date must wait until the next calendar year to do so.

It is uncommon for the cap on worker applications to remain unmet for more than a few days after the employer deadline. But the United States Customs and Immigrations services will accept applications until no more spots are available.

Application Process

The first step in the H-1B visa application process is an employer filing of the Labor Condition Application with the Labor Department. Next, the employer submits Form I-129 to the USCIS.

An approved I-129 means it is time for the foreign worker to continue the process. The continuation of the process will likely include an interview and biometrics submission at the U.S. consulate’s office in the worker’s home country.

Immigration regulations in the United States include a maze of complex laws that can become difficult to navigate. Individuals with questions about the process may find it helpful to speak with an immigration attorney.