H-1B Professional Visa

Overview 

The H-1B category is an expedient and lawful method to bring foreign-born professionals temporarily to the United States, and therefore one of the most widely sought after visa classifications for employment in the United States. 

The H-1B visa is suitable for: 

  1. Foreign professionals with specialized knowledge, such as scientists, engineers, programmers, research

analysis, management consultants, journalists, accountants, and others with a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree.

  1. Professional nurses entering the US to perform complex job duties or supervise nursing operations.
  1. Distinguished fashion models.
  1. US companies who need to bring a qualified foreign professional for jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or higher and specialized skills. 

The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The regulations define a “specialty occupation” as requiring a theoretical and practical aplication of a body of highly specialized knowledge in architecture, engineering, math, physical science, social sciences, health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, arts, and more. The foreign worker must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and state licensure, if required to practice in that field. 


Non graduates may be employed on an H-1B visa where they can claim to be “graduate equivalent “ by virtue of 12 or more years’ experience in the occupation 

An individual may work in H-1B status for a maximum of six years. However, a petition will not be granted for more than three years initially. An extension of stay is requested if an individual is in H-1B status already and he/she is eligible for a longer period of employment. Certain employees working on Defense Department projects may remain in H1B status for 10 years. 

USCIS will generally not grant a petition for self-employed people. A petition may be filed by a job contractor, namely a person or entity that pays its employees for services performed at the work sites of other employers. 

It is important to note that it is possible to get an H-1B visa approved for more than 6 years in some cases, depending upon the employment based green card processing status. 

The main advantage of an H1 visa is that the employee can work legally in the U.S. in non-immigrant status, and get the visa quickly after the petition approved. The employee may travel in and out of the U.S. or remain in the U.S. until the visa expires. 

H4 visa is available for accompanying family member (spouse and minor children under 21). 

Dual Intent

In general, most nonimmigrant visa classifications require a person to maintain a foreign residence abroad and show that he or she is coming to the U.S. temporarily. However, the law allows a person on H-visa to have "dual intent," which is arguably the most beneficial aspect of obtaining this visa. 

Under the dual intent doctrine, a person may come to the U.S. temporarily and lawfully seek a permanent residence (for himself/herself and immediate family members, spouse and children under21) in the United States at the same time, without affecting H1/H4 status. 

Therefore, the filing of a labor certification or an employment based preference petition will not cause denial of an H-1B petition filed with the USCIS or an application for an H-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. 

While a green card application is pending, H1/H4 visa holders can travel in and out of the U.S. using a nonexpired H1/H4 visa without need for Advance Parole or EAD. 

H1 visa holders can buy a house or any other real estate property in the USA. H1 visa holders can also invest money in stocks, mutual funds, bonds etc. H1 visa holders cannot work as self-employed or freelancers and do contract type of work during their free time. 


If the beneficiary of an H-1B visa is in the U.S. in valid status (e.g., F-1 visa), he or she may change status. If the beneficiary is not in the U.S., he or she must go to the U.S. Consulate to apply for an H-1B visa upon USCIS's approval of the employer's petition. 

Quoata = 65,000

General Requirements for H-1B Visa 

The following are the general requirements for H-1B visa classification: 

  • A valid job offer and an employer who is willing to sponsor a person by filing a petition with the USCIS. 
  • Prior to filing an H-1B petition an employer must file a labor certification application with the Department of Labor 
  • US employers may begin applying for the H-1B visa 6 month before the actual start date of the visa.