H1-B Visas - Everything you need to know

1. What are H1B visas and who is eligible for them?

 

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. To be eligible for an H1B visa, workers must have at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in their field of expertise. Exception: Fashion model and person providing service to Department of Defense.

 

2. How many H1B visas are issued each year?

 

Each year, the US government caps the number of H1B visas at 65,000. However, there is an additional 20,000 visa limit for workers with advanced degrees from US institutions of higher learning called the advanced degree exception. There are 6,800 vias set aside for the Singapore and Chile H1-Bs.

 

3. How long does an H1B visa holder have to stay in the US?

 

An H1B visa holder can stay in the United States for up to six years. After that, they must return to their home country for at least one year before they can apply for another H1B visa or the work was seasonal, intermittent or less than 6 months per year. Exception: New Employment.

 

4. Can an H1B visa holder change jobs?

 

Yes, an H1B visa holder can change jobs if their new employer is willing to sponsor them for another H1B visa. However, the process of changing jobs can be complicated, and it is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer before making any decisions.

 

5. What are the benefits of having an H1B visa?

 

There are many benefits to having an H1B visa, including the ability to live and work in the United States for a period of up to six years, access to healthcare and other social benefits, and the ability to bring family members to the United States. H1B visa holders also have the potential to earn a higher salary than they would in their home country.

 

6. Are there any disadvantages of having an H1B visa?

 

The main disadvantage of having an H1B visa is that it is a temporary visa, and it can be difficult to obtain permanent residency or citizenship in the United States.

 

7. How long does an H1B visa last?

 

An H1B visa is valid for up to three years and can be renewed for an additional three years. After six years, H1B visa holders must either leave the United States or obtain another type of visa or keep extending the H1-B provided they have a pending or approved I-140.

 

 8. Can I extend my H1B visa?

 

Yes, you can extend your H1B visa. You will need to file a petition with the USCIS before your current visa expires. If your petition is approved, you will be able to stay in the United States for an additional three years.

 

9. Can I apply for a green card while on an H1B visa?

 

Yes, you can apply for a green card while on an H1B visa. The ideology is known as "dual intent." This means that you can have the intention of remaining in the United States permanently while also holding a temporary visa. Also, a consular officer is not to consider non-immigrant intent when adjudicating the H-1B application.

 

10. Do I need to maintain a foreign residence for an H1-B?

 

No, you do not need to maintain a foreign residence.

 

11. Can I apply for an H1B visa if I am already in the United States?

 

Yes, you can apply for an H1B visa if you are already in the United States. However, you will need to have a valid reason for changing your status from another visa category to an H1B visa.

 

12. Can I bring my family with me on an H1B visa?

 

Yes, you can bring your family with you on an H1B visa. Your spouse and children under the age of 21 will be able to enter the United States on an H4 visa.

 

13. How long does it take to get an H1B visa?

 

The processing time for an H1B visa varies depending on the USCIS service center where your petition is filed. However, it typically takes around 2-5 months to receive an H1B visa.

In 2022, the Texas Service Center is taking around 4 weeks; the California Svc Center around 5 months and the Vermont Svc Center around 2 months.

 

It can be processed though Premium Processing for an additional $2,500.

 

14. How much does it cost to apply for an H1B visa?

 

There are several fees associated with applying for an H1B visa. These fees include the registration fee, filing fee for the I-129 petition, the fraud prevention and detection fee, ACWIA fee and the biometrics service fee. The total cost of these fees is typically between $1,650 and $5,650

15. Steps in an H1-B application

1) File for registration in March

2) If selected then file LCA and submit along with I-129 and required fees and documentation.

For registration details please visit  https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-electronic-registration-process

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