Recipients of an H1-B visa can remain in the US for three years, but the stay can be extended to a maximum of six years, although in certain circumstances, such as when a labor certificate is pending or an immigration petition is approved, individuals can apply for longer stays. The only requirement during the length of the stay is that the individual continue to work for the sponsoring employee.
H1-B Visa Eligibility
In order to be eligible for an H1-B visa, an individual must have a Bachelor's Degree in their specific field, or an equivalent twelve years' worth of experience. In fields where state licensure is mandatory, such as in law, the individual must have the necessary license, as well. The types of "specialized occupations" applicable to this type of visa include:
- Agricultural Science
- Business / Management
- Computer Science
- Department of Defense
- Medicine / Health Fields
- Surveying / Cartography
- Veterinary science
Also, fashion modeling careers are also included under H1-B visas.
Applying for a H-1B Visa
Individuals themselves cannot apply for an H1-B visa - rather, an employer must petition for a visa for a specific employee. However, if an individual meets the requirements, employers can start applying for a visa up to six months before the start date. There is a yearly cap on the number of H1-B visas issued.
Generally, individuals can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and the application process involves an interview, an application processing fee, and other requirements specific to the U.S. Embassy that is processing the visa. For specific information, refer to your embassy's website.
H1-B Visa Application Information
- Applying for a Temporary Workers Visa
- Employer Petitions
- Information for Temporary Visitors
- Questions about Temporary Worker Visas
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