USA Immigration - H-1B Visa
An H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine. Under this specific visa a US company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years.
Please bear in mind that you are unable to apply for an H1B until you have a secured and qualified job offer from a U.S employer and are able to demonstrate that you have a degree which is relevant to the position offered. The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B non-immigrant's are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.
The H1B visa for the USA is regarded as a non-immigrant visa and as such is not intended as a route to settled status in the USA. However, US employers may decide to sponsor a foreign beneficiary for a green card by undertaking a labour certification process and filing a petition with USCIS.
The US H1B visa class is aimed at potential employees who will be immigrating to the USA in order to undertake employment in a "specialty occupation", i.e. a job that requires a significant deal of specialist knowledge and skills evidenced by the attainment of a US equivalent Bachelor's Degree. As a result, candidates are expected to have either:
- The equivalent of a 4-year US equivalent Bachelor's degree, relevant to the field in which employment is being offered (Most UK Bachelor's Degree's are equivalent).
- 12 years of relevant work experience in a "specialized field", or a combination of education and work experience totalling 12 years (1 year of higher education equals 3 years of work experience).
- Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants must be licensed to practice in the state in which employment is offered. This may involve passing a relevant state professional examination.
H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the US under the H4 Visa category as dependents. An H4 Visa holder is allowed to remain in the US as long as the H-1B visa holder remains in legal status. While, an H4 visa holder is not eligible to work in the US, they may attend school, obtain a driver's license and open a bank account while in the US.
For further information on the U.S H1B or other U.S visas, please contact a member of our specialist team today.