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Getting a H1 visa

20th October 2010
By Paul Anderson in Immigration Law
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Every foreign national who wishes to enter United States must obtain a visa. The United States visas are classified into Immigrant and Non-immigrant visas. Immigrant visas are used by people who wish to travel to live permanently in US. Non-immigrant visas are issued for people who wish to travel to US on a temporary basis for business or pleasure.

People who seek to enter United States based on employment must obtain a working visa in order to be eligible to work in the United States. There are many working visas available and one such visa is H1B visa. The H1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa. This visa allows a foreign national to be sponsored by a US Company for a period of six years and may lead to sponsor for Green Card.

H1B requirements

The H1B visa allows business professionals to work in the United States for a specific amount of time. The H1 visa is allowed to US employers to sponsor foreign employees to work in their concern or institution when a US Citizen or a permanent resident is not available for that occupation.

In order to be eligible for the H1 visa, both the US employer and the foreign employee must satisfy the eligibility requirements.

The United States job offer must be in a Specialty Occupation. Specialty Occupations require a high degree of specialized knowledge (usually this requirement can be met by having a 3 year degree or 3 years' equivalent post-graduate experience) .such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, and other occupations.
During the time of job offer, no U.S. citizen or permanent resident must be available for the job.
The petition for H1 visa must be submitted by the US company and not by the employee.
The U.S. employer must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage earned by similarly employed workers in the area of employment and must make other attestations as required by the Department of Labor.

In addition to the above mentioned requirements the foreign employee must,

have a bachelor's degree. If the applicant has a foreign degree, then that degree must be determined to be equivalent to that of a U.S. bachelor's degree. If applicants do not hold a Bachelor's degree, they may claim to be Graduate Equivalent if only they posses 12 years or more work experience in the same occupation.

possess specialized skill, and
must speak and read English

Once the application for H1 Visa has been submitted to USCIS by the US employer, it will be reviewed for completeness. The supporting documents will be checked along with the application. If all the requirements are met, USCIS will send an approval notice to the US employer. If the petition for H1 visa is approved, an Approval Notice will be sent . Using the Approval Notice, the applicant may obtain the H1 visa from the US Consulate. If the application is denied, the USCIS will notify in writing the reason for rejection.
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