What is the H-1B Visa? When seeking entry into the United States (US) from a foreign country a visa is needed, as this grants them permission. There are different reasons for entry into the US and that means different visas. Considering all of these the different visas also have different requirements for approvals.
An H-1B visa is generally used as a US work visa, which is also called and considered a permit to work in the US. They are available to people throughout the world. This is a program introduced by the US Government to help give others an opportunity to be in the US. It is intended for International individuals that are professionals or students.
This is a popular visa and considered the most sought US visa for work. Any foreign national is required by US Immigration to have a visa to be legal for work throughout the US. An advantage for the H-1B visa is it provides dual intent. This is when the visa holder can apply for Legal Permanent Residency also known as a Green Card.
As with any visa there is a process that needs to be followed. First the applicant needs to find an H-1B sponsorship job available through an employer that is a US sponsoring company. Only individuals applying for an H-1B visa that have a specialty occupation are eligible to apply and be granted this visa. These occupations include: computing, banking, IT, sales, finance, advertising, PR, various engineering, marketing, accounting, teaching, medial legal, networking, health care legal, telecoms, hospitality, business and management.
The next step is to have the H-1B employer file the applicants H-1B visa application. It needs to be submitted to the US Immigration Bureau. Only employers in the US are allowed to do this step. Individuals are not allowed to sponsor and the applicant is not eligible to apply for their H-1B visa. When an H-1b visa is granted it is offered for no more than six years. The visa holder can stay in the US for a few years or up to the allowed six.
The H-1B certification holds validity only during the period of employment and no worker can start work unless the visa is approved by the USCIS. The onus of keeping record of the visa details and employee qualifications and other records is with the company sponsoring the workers visa. These documentations should available for a review or for an inspection when asked for. If there is a change of job on H-1B, the petition for the worker needs to be filed by the new company.
This visa also opens the door to the visa holder’s family including their spouse and children less than 21 years. They are welcome to accompany the visa holder to the US while the visa is active. These individuals or dependents need an H4 or dependent visa. Nevertheless, the H4 visa does not permit the family members of the H-1B visa holder to work and they need their own H-1B visa.