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.
- 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.
- The alien must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the related field.
- The employer must pay at least the prevailing wage.
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.
- Cap exemption institutions:
- Institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities
- Nonproft research organizations or governmental research organizations
- 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)
- A person extending H-1B status; and
- 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.