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How to Obtain an H-1B Visa

The registration period for H-1B Visas opens in March, so now is the time many companies would consider sponsoring a potential employee with an H-1B Visa. If you are interested in obtaining an H-1B Visa for employment in the United States, here is information you need to keep in mind before you begin the process.

Which Jobs Qualify for an H-1B Visa?

Most employers will not actively seek out employees who need an H-1B Visa. However, certain career fields are more likely to accept individuals who will require an H-1B Visa than others.

Some of the most common career fields for individuals who require an H-1B Visa include:

  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) including architects, biologists, chemists, civil engineers, electrical engineers, industrial engineers, mechanical engineers, physicians, software engineers, surgeons, and therapists;
  • Attorneys;
  • Accountants;
  • Sales and distribution managers; and,
  • Teachers (at primary and secondary schools and universities).

If you are trying to get a career in one of these fields and need an H-1B Visa, look at a potential employer’s job description and requirements to ensure that you have the necessary degree or equivalent qualifications. The career fields listed above are not an exhaustive list of careers where an H-1B Visa is accepted but rather some of the more popular fields where individuals with an H-1B Visa are employed.

Who is Eligible for an H-1B Visa?

As stated previously, an individual’s career path will most likely determine eligibility for an H-1B Visa. Those wishing to obtain an H-1B Visa must meet the following criteria.

Education

To obtain an H-1B Visa, the individual must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent educational qualifications for their field. If the individual has a bachelor’s degree, the degree must be in the individual’s pursuant career field of choice (so the person’s degree can not be in a field that is not relevant to the career they’re trying to pursue) and the degree must be required for the job.

An example of this would be if an individual is interested in an engineering field — there are bachelor’s degrees that focus on this particular area. However, suppose an individual has a bachelor’s degree in a field that is not related to engineering. In that case, they may not be considered for an engineering position if they are also hoping to obtain an H-1B Visa.

If someone is offered a position and requires an H-1B Visa, the Visa is applicable for three years and can be renewed once for a total of six years of authorization. This does not apply to employees who work less than six months a year or have reached other milestones in the employment-based green card process.

Timeline of Obtaining an H-1B Visa

It’s imperative for those hoping to obtain a job in the U.S. with an H-1B Visa to begin that process now. While some applications are processed within 30 days, it is not guaranteed. This is because USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) needs adequate time to review all applications.

Additionally, there is a limit to how many applications USCIS will process each year — currently, that number is 65,000. That means employers must sometimes petition six months in advance of the employee starting the job. This gives the USCIS enough time to make a decision and the immigrant enough time to get their affairs in order if they are approved.

When to Contact Murray Osorio PLLC

At Murray Osorio PLLC, we can help individuals at the beginning or at any point of their H-1B Visa journey. We’ve helped countless individuals get the verification they need to work and stay in the U.S. legally and we can help you or a loved one as well.

If you’re considering working in the U.S. and would need an H-1B Visa to do so, make sure Murray Osorio PLLC is on your checklist. See how we can assist with your needs today by reaching out online or at (703) 952-3275.