Overview

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows an alien to work in the US for up to six years (or more, in certain circumstances) in a professional position. The H-1B visa is employer specific, meaning that the alien can work only for the petitioning employer
on the H-1B petition. An alien can work concurrently for two or more employers pursuant to H-1B petitions.

Requirements

  1. Specialty occupation: generally, the position must require at least a bachelor’s degree in a particular field related to the position.  However, there are some exceptions to this rule where the job duties are sufficiently complex.
  2. The alien must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the related field.
  1. The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage.

H-1B cap

65,000 H-1B visas are available each fiscal year, and 20,000 additional numbers are available for those with a master’s degree or higher from a US. institution. These numbers become available on October 1 of each year. Certain employers and individuals are not subject to the visa cap.

  1. Cap exemption institutions:
    1. Institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities
    2. Nonproft research organizations or governmental research organizations
  1.  A person who has already been counted against the cap within the past six years, unless the person would be eligible for a new six-year period of H-1B status (an H-1B alien could be eligible for a full six years if he was out of the country for a year or if the work he was performing in the US was seasonal, intermittent or less than six months per year)
  2.  A person extending H-1B status; and
  3.  A J-1 who has obtained State 30 program waiver.

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows US businesses to temporarily employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations. To find out if your position qualifies, call Attorney Monique Kornfeld at 617-323-5049.