Canadian and US Immigration Law

H-1B Visa – Specialty Occupation

H-1B Visa – Specialty Occupation

An H-1B visa is a specialty occupation visa for individuals who either hold a degree in the field in which they will work or have experience commensurate with a degree.  In general, three years of experience equates to one year of study towards a degree.

H-1B Visa Requirements

An individual who wishes to obtain this visa needs a U.S.-based employer, who will sign the petition on the employee’s behalf.  This visa is valid for three years initially and can be renewed for up to six years.

A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a specialized body of knowledge and typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field. The H-1B visa requires an employer in the United States to sponsor the foreign worker. The employer must submit a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the prospective employee.

The employer is then required to pay the H-1B worker at least the prevailing wage for the occupation in the specific geographic area where the work will be performed. This figure is determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure that the employment of H-1B workers does not negatively impact U.S. workers’ wages.

There is an annual cap restricting the number of visas issued through the H-1B program. The regular cap is set at 65,000 visas, with an additional 20,000 visas available for individuals who have earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution. Certain employers and positions are exempt from the cap. H-1B visa holders can also pursue permanent residence (a Green Card) while on an H-1B visa without jeopardizing their nonimmigrant status, which is called dual intent.

Work with a Leading US Immigration Lawyer to Obtain Your H-1B Visa

Obtaining an H-1B visa can be complex. Errors or ommissions in your application will lead to delays in your application’s approval or even outright rejection. To ensure your application has the highest opportunity for success, work with an experienced US immigration lawyer.

The team of experienced immigration lawyers at Guberman // Appleby is ready to guide you through the H-1B visa application process every step of the way. Have your application prepared and checked by leading legal professionals so you can guarantee the best possible outcome – Contact us today.