The H-1B visa is a temporary employment visa allowing the alien to work in the United States for a specified employer. This visa is given to qualified individuals in a “Specialty Occupation”. It is usually given for a period of up to three years at a time (maximum), and the alien cannot exceed six years maximum on H-1B status. Accordingly, the H-1B visa allows employers to hire qualified foreign individuals, including foreign students studying in the United States. Similarly, foreign students studying in the United States can adjust their status from F-1 to H-1B while in the United States.
Steps Involved in receiving an H1-B VISA:
- The employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor in the region the alien will work. The employer must show that the salary the alien will be paid is not lower than the prevailing wage for the occupation, thus ensuring that American workers are not undermined.
- Upon approval of the LCA from the Department of Labor, petitions filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the approval of the H-1B petition. Once this is approved, the approval is forwarded to the requested U.S. Consulate abroad.
- The alien if outside the country is interviewed at the Consulate and if accepted, granted a visa. If the alien is in the United States in a legal status (such as B1/B2, L1, L2, H-4 and Student/F-1), their visa status is adjusted within the United States.