The H1B visa classification permits a foreign national to work in the United States for a temporary period. It is available for offers of employment in a specialty occupation. A person may hold H1B status for a maximum of six years, and it may be issued in increments of up to three years by the USCIS. An employee may receive extensions of H1B status beyond six years in certain circumstances, if he or she is applying for employment-based permanent residence (the “green card”). H1B visas are numerically limited, with 85,000 visas available each fiscal year (20,000 are restricted to individuals with received master’s degrees or higher from U.S colleges or universities). This limitation is the H1B cap.
For a specialty occupation H1B petition, the employee must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent experience.
The employer for an H1B petition must obtain a labor condition application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor before filing the H1B petition with the USCIS.
An employee who has received an H1B visa, or been granted H1B status is generally exempt from the numerical limitations.
An employee presently employed in H1B status may utilize the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) to transition their H1B to a different employer.
The spouse and minor children of an H1B employee may live in the United States in H-4 status, and to study. Spouses are not eligible to work until an I-140 is approved for the H-1B spouse.
How We Can Help You
The attorneys at Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. have been representing employers and employees in preparing H1B petitions encompassing a wide variety of industries and occupations for 20 years. We take particular pride in our track record in the demanding IT consulting field, for which the USCIS imposes harsh requirements on H1B petitions.