H-1B Specialty Occupation
The H-1B visa is available for individuals who are temporarily employed in specialty occupations. Additionally, models of distinguished ability and merit may seek H-1B status. H-1B status holders can work for up to six years and can switch employers in certain situations. H-1B holders may be accompanied by their spouse and minor children when entering the United States.
Who is eligible:
Individuals who are in specialty occupations and have specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree are eligible for the H-1B. Specialty occupations include architecture, engineering, mathematics, social sciences, physical sciences, health and medicine, accounting, theology, law, arts, education, and business. A prospective employer(s) must sponsor an individual.
To qualify for the H-1B visa, an individual must have an offer from a prospective employer. The employer must then demonstrate that the position offered is a specialty occupation, that the prospective employee has the appropriate credentials, and that the employee’s salary will be of an appropriate level. Additionally, most employers will be required to pay a $500 fraud prevention fee and a $750 or $1500 ACWIA fee.
Current law places an annual quota of 65,000 visas on the H-1B status. In addition to the 65,000 quota, an additional 20,000 visas are available for individuals with a masters degree or higher.
Duration of Visa:
The H-1B visa is available for an initial three year period and can be renewed for an additional three years.
Family and Work Authorization:
H-1B visa holders are authorized to work and to bring their spouse and minor children into the United States. The spouse and minor children will be given H-4 status and will not be authorized to work in the United States.