There is a special visa for the non-immigrants of United States who want to work in the companies situated in USA. The H1B Visa allows the companies to temporary employ the foreign employees for the specialized job designation. They can hire the non-residential worker in the specialized occupations like architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine which requires a technical and theoretical expertise. Under the H1B visa, the US company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years. Later in this article we will discuss H1B visa requirements including documents and fee structure.
Applying for a non-immigrant visa is generally quicker than applying for a US Green Card, therefore the H-1B visa is popular for companies wishing to bring in staff for long-term assignment in the US.
It is not in hands of the individuals to apply for the H1B visa, only the employer can file the petition for the respective employee to choose to hire for the required position. The worker has to find such H1B sponsoring companies for the work. The daunting process of filing the visa application six months prior to the starting date of visa makes things tough for the employer and employee both.
Quota for H1B visa:
For every fiscal year there is a limit to the amount of H1B visa being granted by the US embassy. The current scenario gives 85,000 H1B visas. The number is divided into two parts which permits 65000 new H1B visa to the oversea workers and the rest 20,000 are for the specialized masters degree holders from the US institutes through the OPT and CPT programs.
Allowed maximum limit on H1 Visa
Initial approval is for 3 years, which can be extended for increment of up to 3 years. Total stay cannot exceed total 6 years.
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Most of the big companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and hundreds of other companies will sponsor work visas. The necessity to sponsor a work visa will not be a deterring factor in most of the cases for the big/medium sized companies from hiring a good candidate.
Not everyone is eligible to have the H1B visa and enter the premises of Unites States of America gaining the work authority. There are certain eligibility criteria which need to be fulfilled in order to qualify for the H1B visa.
H1B Visa Requirements:
The requirements to qualify for an H1B visa are:
You must have ONE of the following
- A Bachelor’s degree or Master’s Degree (or the foreign equivalent degree from your Country), OR
- 12 years work experience , OR
- A mix of further education + work experience
- 12 points in ‘total’ are required to qualify for the H1B visa program
- The general H1B visa qualification rule is:
for every 1 year of studies at University / College = 3 points
for every 1 year of work experience = 1 point
Should possess Bachelors or higher degree, it is because the jobs which offer H1B service can only be filled by the qualified person. The requirement of degree is common among the top notch companies. The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree. The Bachelor’s degree should have been completed by the US University in the specialized field. The person should hold an unrestricted state license, certification or registration which provides the authorization to fully work.
The H1B visa duration can be from three to maximum six years. What generally is advisable and seen amongst the H1B visa holders is that they apply for the Green Card during that time duration and the success rate for the approval of green card is 90%. The reason is H1B visa category is has the dual intent. The H1B visa can be renew by sending the I-140 form. The process is not so easy and can lead to several repetitions if the employer decides to drop the employee while his application is in process. During such calamity, the suffered person has to either leave the country or contact another employer.
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Which documents required for H1B visa petition?
Employer may require certain document from the foreign worker for the purpose of petition. Following are typically required document for H1b petition purpose.
- Valid original passport. You are recommended to have passport valid for at least six months beyond your interview date. Current Passport as well as old passport.
- One photograph as per specification.
- Confirmation page of online submitted Form DS-160 with CEAC bar code.
- Visa Fees & US Visa Application Fee payment receipt.
- Original interview appointment letter and one copy. …
- Visa Interview appointment letter.
Spouse / Dependent Children:
- Copy of interview appointment letter, DS-160 Confirmation Bar-code printout and US visa application fee receipt.
- US visa application fee receipt.
- The original Notice of Action Form I-797 of the Principal Applicant.
- Form I-129 (if Form I-797 is a blanket permit, copy of Form I-797 and I-129) of the Principal Applicant
- Photocopy of the Principal Applicant’s valid visa (if applying separately).
- Original Marriage Certificate (for spouse) along with your entire wedding photo album.
- Original Birth certificate (for each child).
Information / Documents required from the US Employer:
- Sponsorship Job Offer from a US employer
- Job title of the position
- Detailed job description
- Offered Salary Details
- The company’s minimum requirements for the job (i.e. degree or work experience required)
- Name and job title of person who will sign the forms on behalf of the company
- Name and address of company.
- If the company is new / just starting up – provide financial information about the company as you can such as – bank statements, most recent income tax return, articles of incorporation, financial statements or any documentation that will prove that the company is lucrative and can pay the salary of the foreign worker you want to hire.
- Employer Federal Tax I.D. Number – the year company was established, approximate number of employees and approximate gross and net annual income
- Client site letter on the client site’s letterhead. We will be happy to assist you with language necessary for this letter to be most effective.
- Completed US Immigration Bureaus visa filing forms and fees
Once your documents are completed read all the important tips to get successfully approved you visa application such as:
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- H1B Rejection Reasons – Read before you file your H1B
- H-1B Visa Interview Questions – Some Tips for Preparing for Visa Approval
H1B holders who want to continue to work in the U.S. after six years, but who have not obtained permanent residency status, must remain outside of the U.S. for one year before reapplying for another H-1B visa.
The Taxation for the H1B visa holders depends on the category they are filtered into. The categories are nonresident alien and the resident alien. The nonresident alien have to pay tax for the income they earn within the US while the residents have to pay for the income they while within the US or outside.
There is a benefit on the H1B visa to bring the dependents with them under the H4 Visa; they can stay as long as the H1B holder has the legal stay permission. But they are abstain to do work or getting the social security number and other government benefits.
The other limitation is H-1B non immigrants may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. Generally, a nonimmigrant employee may work for more than one employer at the same time. However, each employer must follow the process for initially applying for a non-immigrant employee.
There is no age discrimination but majority of the H1B visa holders are between 25-34 ages.
H1B Visa Fees Structure:
H1B petition filing involves a set of fees that every employer or H1B sponsor has to pay. Not all of this applies to every petition filed. it varies by the company size and the other factors as explained below.
H-1B fees details which came into effect from April 1st, 2016:
|Base Filing Fee||USCIS I-129 Petition||$460|
|ACWIA or American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 fee||USCIS “Education and Training Fee”||$750 (For employers having 25 or less employees)
or $1500 (For employers having more than 25 employees)
|USCIS Anti-Fraud Fee||Anti-Fraud Fee is required for all new H-1B visa petitions, and H-1B transfers to new employers. It’s not required for H-1B renewals/extensions with the same employer.||$500|
|Public Law 111-320 Fee||Applies to all the companies that having 50 or more employees and also 50% of their employees are non-immigrant (H-1B or L visa including L-1A & L-1B). Applicable for all new H1B filing and change of employers.||$4,000 for H1B Visa
$4500 for L1 Visa
|Premium Processing Fee (Optional)||For faster processing of your petition within 15 calendar days. This is optional and can either be paid by the employer or the candidate.||$1,225|
|Immigration Attorney Fee||Varies depending upon the attorney. It applies to companies that work with third party immigration attorneys for filing H-1B Visa petitions.
Some large companies have in-house attorneys and If they don’t have one, it would cost them anywhere from $500 to $3000.