The H-1B is a visa allows U.S. companies or employers to temporarily hire foreign employees in specialty occupations. The H-1B visa for specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of work experience.

  • Specialty occupations: Basically, employers file for qualified people to come to the United States to do services in specialty occupations. These occupations typically require a bachelor’s degrees (or higher) in a specialty area;
  • DOD research and development project workers: A cooperative research and development project or a co-production project is provided for under a government-to-government treaty managed by the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Fashion models: People who are fashion models of notable merit and ability.
Source: U.S. Department of State

You must fulfil the following conditions to be classified as an H-1B temporary worker:

  • You must have an employer-employee connection with the petitioning U.S. company or organisation.
  • Your job must qualify as a specialty occupation by fulfilling one of the following conditions:
  • A bachelor’s or its equivalent is generally the minimum requirement;
  • The educational criteria is common for the position in the industry, or the job is so exceptional that it can only be completed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to the post;
  • Your job must be in a specialty occupation relevant to your area of study;
  • The petitioning employer or company must provide proof that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has approved a labor condition application;
  • You have to be paid at least the actual or usual wage for your occupation, whichever is higher; and
  • An H-1B visa number must be obtainable at the time of filing the petition, except the petition is excused from numerical limits.
Source: H-1B Specialty Occupations

How to File For US H-1B Visa Program for Specialty Occupations?

  • To begin the petition process, your employer must:
  • Read the guideline for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
  • Complete and sign Form I-129;
  • Clear the petition fee, if applicable; and
  • submit all required documents.
  • The primary length of stay in the United States can be up to three years with succeeding renewals not to exceed six years, with certain exemptions.

After You File

  • When USCIS receives your Form I-129, they will process your petition and you and your employer will receive a:
  • Receipt notice of confirmation of your petition;
  • Biometric notice, if applicable;
  • Notice to attend interview
  • Notice of approval or refusal
Source: U.S. Department of State

Required Documents for an H1B Visa Application:

  • Your current passport.
  • All previous passports.
  • Receipts of visa fee payment
  • Photograph
  • Visa interview appointment letter
  • Form I-129
  • Form I-797.
  • Letter from your employer with your job description.
  • Your qualifications (diplomas and certifications).
  • And other required documents
Source: U.S. Department of State

The visa application fee for the H-1B Visa is $460.

Source: U.S. Department of State

How Long Can I Stay in the US with an H1B Visa?

The H1B visa is primarily valid for 3 years but can be extended for another 3 years. In total, an applicant can remain and work in the US for 6 years at most.

How to extend H-1B visa?

The H1B extension process are like the initial application process. You will be required to pay the same amount of fees, except for the Fraud Prevention and Protection Fee. The employer will need to follow the same process for getting approval from DOL and an approved petition from USCIS. Furthermore, you will provide these documents along with many other documents:

  • Your valid passport.
  • Original I-94 Form
  • Valid I-797 Form.
  • Letter from your employer
Source: U.S. Department of State