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H-1B Visa
Dual-intent Temporary workers and trainees: specialty occupations

The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The regulations define a "specialty occupation" as requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor including but not limited to architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, biotechnology, medicine and health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, theology, and the arts. It also requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, if required to practice in that field. The nature of the duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties of employment is associated with a bachelor’s or higher degree. See 8 CFR §214.2(h)(4)(iii)(A)

To qualify as a specialty occupation you must: 1) have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university, 2) hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation, or 3) hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice that specialty in the state of intended employment.

Prospective specialty occupation must obtain a certification of an LCA from the DOL. The application requires the employer to indicate that it will comply with certain labor requirements. First, the employer promises to pay the beneficiary a wage similar to qualified workers. Second, the employer will provide working conditions that will not harm similar employed workers.

At the time of the labor condition application there must not be a strike or lockout, and notice of the filing labor condition application has been given to the union bargaining representative or posted at the place of business.

An H-1B visa holder is admitted for a period of up to three years, and may be extended, generally not beyond a total of six years. If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is terminated from the sponsoring employer, the worker must change of status, find another employer, or leave the United States. If your employer terminates you before the end of your period of authorized stay, your employer will be liable for the reasonable costs of the return to the foreign country. However, your employer is not responsible for your transportation costs if you resign your position.

The H-1B visa has an annual quota of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the quota. In addition, H-1B visa petitions for institutions of higher education, affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations, or government research organizations, are not subject the quota.

Any spouse and/or children under the age of 21 wanting to join the H-1B visa holder may be eligible regardless of nationality, with an H-4 visa. H-4 visa holders may not engage in employment in the United States. If you need help! Contact us at 202-701-7326