Houston H1B Lawyer – Work Visa Attorney in Houston
The American H1B work visa allows a US company to hire a foreign worker for up to 6 years. This is the most common of all types of visas that give the right to work in the United States. About 200,000 applications are submitted annually, which are subject to competitive selection within the established quota.
What is a H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa is designed for entry into the country by professionals with valuable knowledge. A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in specialty occupation is required for H-1B Visa. A combination of education and experience in their field of work may also qualify a foreign worker for H1B visa status. Since the educational standards in the United States and other countries are different, the degree of the applicant must be recognized in the United States. The procedure for bringing educational documents into compliance with American standards is called validation of foreign studies and degrees. However, a completed education may not be necessary if the applicant has sufficient work experience and has received good recommendations from previous employers. A person without higher education can be hired on an H-1B visa in the United States if they can confirm that they are a specialist based on at least 12 years experience in this field.
To work outside their specialty or if the candidate lacks qualifications/work experience, they can apply for an H-2B visa instead of a working H1B visa. The disadvantage of an H-2B visa is that it requires a labor certificate to obtain. It is an expensive and time-consuming process that includes publishing a job and proof that there are no American workers who can do the job offered to the immigrant. In addition, H-2B visas are initially issued for only 1 year, with the right to extend to 3 years.
Who can apply for an H-1B visa?
Foreign workers can not independently get an H1B work visa in the United States. An American company who wants to hire a foreign worker must apply for a candidate to enter.
The visa indicates the name of the American company where the foreign worker will be employed. Therefore, he/she can only work in this company and no other.
Once the company has sponsored an H1B work visa for the worker to enter the US, it must dismiss the former employee before the expiry of his visa. The company is responsible for any reasonable transportation costs incurred by the dismissed employee when moving home.
US companies can start applying for an H1B visa 6 months before the actual date the visa becomes active. Since the US fiscal year begins on October 1st, employers can apply for an H1B work visa from April 1st to April 7th, but a work visa will not become active before October 1st.
Initially, a visa can be obtained for up to 3 years. It may be extended for the first time for 3 years. Thus, the maximum possible duration of a visa is 6 years with some exceptions. Those who wish to stay in the United States for more than 6 years with a valid H-1B visa can apply for a permanent residence permit (Green Card). If such employees do not receive a permanent residency at the end of this 6-year period, they must leave the country and stay outside the United States for at least 1 year before applying for a new H-1B visa. Although someone who held H-1B Visa for 6 years may be eligible for O-1 visa.
To find out more about H-1B visa please see this detailed information provided by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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