H-1B is type of visa issued to non-immigrants which permits temporary employment in the United States.


Who is eligible for an H-1B visa?

An employer can apply (petition) for an H-1B visa on behalf of a student if:

  • The student has the minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • The employer is registered with the E-Verify employment verification system.
  • The student will perform services in a specialty occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.


Who is NOT eligible for an H-1B visa?

An employer CANNOT apply (petition) for an H-1B visa on behalf of a student if:


Application (Petition) Procedures

To apply for an H-1B visa, the student‘s employer must complete the following procedures:


Important Points to Remember

  • Employment is limited to the specific employer that petitioned for the student’s H-1B visa, but it is possible to have multiple concurrent H-1B petitioners.
  • An employer can file an H-1B petition 6 months before the requested employment start date.
    • The earliest an employer may file the petition is on/after the new fiscal year (April 1).
    • The earliest an employer may request a start date is on/after October 1.
  • The initial period of employment authorization is for up to 3 years with extensions in up to 3 year increments thereafter with a 6 year maximum.
  • H-1B visa holders may take classes as long as they are incidental (non-degree seeking) to their employment.


**The Center for International Studies does not advise on H-1B visa petition procedures.  Students should seek professional legal advice for more information.**

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