The H-1B Work Visa: Key Features to Know

The H-1B work visa offers foreign nationals consent to work in the United States and a particular status that permits them to remain in the country temporarily legally. This particular visa category is reserved for non-citizens who hold specialty occupations, work for projects under the Department of Defense, as well as fashion models who have distinguished ability and merit. Mostly, the key features of this popular work visa include the following:

  • The H-1B work visa could only be approved based on a specific sponsor/employer that offers a particular job position in a specific place or location. If any of these change, the new or sponsoring employer must file a petition with the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • The category “specialty occupation” refers to job positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a particular field. These include scientists, teachers, engineers, accountants, pharmacists, and IT professionals among others.
  • Once you’re granted the H-1B visa in Utah or other states, you could work in the U.S. up to six years. This limit won’t apply if you don’t work for more than six months in the U.S. or if you’ve been granted a green card.
  • If you have dependent family members, a spouse and kids under 21 years old, they could apply for H-4 visas so that they could accompany you in the U.S. Some eligible spouses who have H-4 visas could also apply to work in the U.S.
  • Every fiscal year, the USCIS places a cap on first-time H-1B visa applicants, warns an immigration attorney in Utah. He adds that this 2017, the cap is set at 65,000.
  • If you get fired, your employer should pay for your return transportation to where you lived previously abroad. However, this doesn’t apply if you leave on your own or resign.

This is just an overview of the main features of the H-1B work visa and each feature comes with its own issues and specific rules. Furthermore, take note that the USCIS scrutinizes each H-1B visa petition meticulously because of the 65,000 cap on applicants.

Likewise, the risk is higher when there are flaws and inconsistencies in your documents and filings. With this in mind, seek help from an experienced immigration lawyer to help you out with your H-1B application.