H-1B For Professionals Working In A Specialty Occupation
A professional holding a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent with a job offer which requires the degree may qualify for H-1B status. The U.S. employer must submit the appropriate paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the U.S.
First, the employer must obtain an approved Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor. In this application, the employers attest that they will pay the foreign worker the appropriate salary and that the working conditions will be the same as other U.S. workers. Once the labor condition application is approved, the application may then be submitted to USCIS. An H-1B employee is only authorized to work for the employer sponsoring the application.
The H-1B status may be approved for up to three years, and it can be extended for a total of six years. If an application for permanent residency is submitted at least one year prior to the end of the sixth year, additional yearly extensions may be granted. Spouses and minor children are eligible for H-4 dependent status; however, they are not eligible for employment.
Because there are a limited number of H-1B visas available for most employers, a foreign worker may have to wait before they can begin employment. This quota does not apply to institutions of higher education, entities affiliated with institutions of higher education and non-profit research organizations.
Pursuant to a special agreement, there are also H-1B1 visas available to professionals from Chile and Singapore. There are 1,400 H-1B1 visas set aside for Chileans and 5,400 for Singaporeans separate from the general H-1B quota.