U.S. government issues a limited number of employment-based non-immigrant
work visas, called H-1B visas, to college-educated professionals or workers
with equivalent experience who have a firm job offer with a U.S.
company. If you are interested in working in the U.S. but do not yet have
a firm job offer, we recommend you check out the Immigralaw.com careers
section for further resources.
H-1B visa (work visa) process is a three-step process:
(1) The applicant's employer (the petitioner) must file an "employer
attestation" form (also known as a "labor condition application"
or LCA) with the US Department of Labor (DOL) offering proof
that the employer will be paying the "prevailing
wage" for that position.
Once the employer attestation application has been approved by the Department
of Labor, the H-1B petitioner must file a petition with the Immigration
and Nationalization Service (INS) including documentation of the candidate's
Once the petition is approved, the H-1B visa application
can be filed.
for FY 2004: 65,000
Length of Visa:
up to six years
up to three years
(should apply for extension at least 45 days in advance of expiration
Length of Application Process: six
weeks to five months
order to qualify for an H-1B work visa you must:
show that you will be working in a "specialty occupation"
requiring the highly specialized knowledge normally acquired through
a college education
possess a bachelor's degree or work experience equivalent to a bachelor's
degree (three years of work equals one year of college) for the job
you will be performing in the U.S. For those with foreign degrees, an
evaluation with an academic credential evaluation service may be required.
show that your employer will be paying you the "prevailing
wage" for that type of job in that particular geographical
Accompanying relatives of
H-1B visa holders are eligible for H-4 visas. They may stay in the U.S.
but not work there.
of interest to H-1B visa holders:
Jobs: How the new law AC21 affects H-1B portability
President Clinton signs bill increasing number
of H-1B visas
Changes in corporate structure - do I need to
re-apply for an H-1B visa?
spouse or child under the age of 21 of the holder of an immigrant
or nonimmigrant visa, who is accompanying them to the US
that is no more than five percent below the "weighted average"
salary for a particular occupation. Information on particular jobs
can be obtained at the employer's regional office of the Department