What is the H-1B Visa?
The H1-B is one of the most popular employment-based visa and allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers with certain skills in specialized areas such as science and medicine, architecture, engineering, law, education, theology or art.
It is for foreign nationals with a Bachelor Degree (or an equivalent foreign degree) that are coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation. The “specialty occupation” is a profession that involves the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a Bachelor Degree.
According to Section § 101 (a) (15) (H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the H-1B is a non-immigrant visa, is granted for an initial period of 3 years, and can be renewed for another 3-year term.
Thus, the H1-B visa holder may attempt a “dual intent” and apply for a Green Card, only after the approval of a Permanent Labor Certification by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and eventually become a U.S. Citizen.
The H1-B Visa requires the sponsorship of a U.S. Company.
The employer must demonstrate to the Department of Labor, that the U.S. Company has the financial ability to pay the minimum wage.
However, after years of uncertainty, the USCIS now accepts H1B petitions filed by a U.S. Company formed and owned by the Visa beneficiary (self-sponsorship).
This kind of sub-category is also called H-1B Visa for Entrepreneurs.
The H-1B holder may be accompanied by his/her spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) with the H-4 visa.
The H-4 visa is granted by the USCIS and does not enable to work or to get a number of “Social Security”.
This visa authorizes to go to school, to get a driver’s license and to open a bank account for the period of stay in the United States.
As long as the owner of H-1B remains in a legal status, the H-4 holder is allowed to remain in the United States.
The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 visas each fiscal year.
The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap.
The O1b visa