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.
- Information can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/E-Verify
- 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:
- The yearly cap on H-1B visas has been met.
- Information can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count
- The student is subject to 212(e) 2-year home residence requirement (J-1 visa holders).
- Information can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html
Application (Petition) Procedures
To apply for an H-1B visa, the student‘s employer must complete the following procedures:
- Complete and submit Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor
- Information can be found at: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/h-1b.cfm
- Complete and submit Form I-129
- Information can be found at: www.uscis.gov/I-129
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.