All you need to know about H1-B Visa

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The H1B Visa is much desired non-immigrant visa which permits foreign workers in specialty occupations to enter US. People, from outside US looking for job in the country need to obtain H1-B Visa. It is a non-immigrant visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. People having H1-B visa are eligible to be employed with US employers in specialty occupations.

H-1B holders who wish to continue to work in the US after six years, but who have not obtained permanent residency status, must remain outside of the US for one year before reapplying for another H-1B visa.

 All you need to know about H1-B Visa


  • To obtain H1-B visa, you must hold a bachelor's or higher degree (or an equivalent degree) in the specific specialty for which you are looking for employment. 12 years work experience or a mix of further education and work experience.
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will determine whether your employment constitutes a specialty occupation and whether you are qualified to perform the services. 
  • Your employer is required file a labor condition application with the Department of Labor concerning the terms and conditions of its contract of employment with you.

Period of stay

  • As an H-1B non-immigrant, one can be permitted to stay in US for a period of up to three years. Period of stay may be extended, but generally cannot go beyond a total of six years.
  • In rare case it can be extended under sections 104(c) and 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21).

In case of termination or resignation

  • If an employee faces termination by his or her employer before the end of period of authorized stay in that case employer will be liable for the reasonable costs of return transportation of the employee.
  • In case an employee offers resignation in that case employer will not be liable to pay for the costs of your return transportation.

H1-B cap

  • The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit "cap" of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a US master's degree or higher are exempt from the cap. 
  • Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related non-profit entities or a non-profit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.

H1-B Visa application

There are two types of H1B visa application process

  • H1B Regular Processing and H1B Premium Processing
  • H1B Premium Processing is a faster method to obtain it. A person seeking H1B Visa through Premium Processing will have to pay an extra fee of $1,225. One can get H1B visa in as little as 15 days.
  • Regular Processing is a more cost-effective method but it takes longer. It can take anywhere from 1 month to 6 months to obtain it.
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