Miami Immigration: Understanding the H-1B Requirements

The H-1B visa is one of the most popular employment-based temporary visas, but it can be difficult to make sense of the process. If you are interested in getting an H-1B visa, here are five requirements to meet in order to qualify.

Requirement 1: Ordinarily, you must have a job offer from or a job with a US employer in order to get an H-1B visa. A valid employer-employee relationship must exist.

Requirement 2: The job must be a specialty occupation that requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a specific field (or the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree based on significant experience) and that can’t be performed by anyone without a degree; or at least it needs to be a job for which a degree is commonly required. It needs to be a job for which employers usually require a degree or the work must be so complex that it’s reasonable to expect a degree in order to be able to perform the job properly.

Requirement 3: Your job must be related to the field in which you have a degree. It’s occasionally possible to qualify for an H-1B visa without a bachelor’s degree if you have specialized training or certifications that qualify you to perform the job. In some cases, you may need written opinions from experts or other documentation in order to support the connection between your degree and the requirements for the job.

Requirement 4: You must be paid wages that are equivalent to the prevailing wages for the job. The Department of Labor has a database of jobs and the current prevailing wages.

Requirement 5: An H-1B visa number must be available when a petition is filed for your visa. The H-1B visa is capped at 65,000 every year, and these 65,000 visas go very fast. It’s necessary to plan ahead in order to have the best chance of obtaining one. People working at institutes of higher learning, nonprofit research organizations, or government research facilities are not subject to the annual quotas. The start date for H-1B visas is October 1, and petitions may be submitted up to six months before that date.  There are also 20,000 H-1B visas allotted to those holding a U.S. Master’s degree.

Are you interested in obtaining an H-1B visa? We are here to answer any questions you may have – please contact us today to learn more!

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