Getting work in a country like the USA is a dream of many. A higher salary and good living standards are what we all desire. Out of many people who ar
Getting work in a country like the USA is a dream of many. A higher salary and good living standards are what we all desire. Out of many people who are seeking jobs in foreign countries, very few talented people get a chance to work there. Also, companies there (USA) invite talented people from other countries to work in their countries. Many of you don’t know that to work in the USA you need a visa known as an H1B visa. If you have an H1-B visa it means you are free to work in the United States. There is a big chance that many of you won’t have any idea about this visa. So! In this article, I will be telling you about the H1B visa in detail. Let’s have a look-
What is an H1-B visa?
H1B visa is nothing but a kind of ticket to your dream of working in the USA. It’s a permit given by the US government which lets you enter the USA and work in any company. Generally, a company hires foreign workers to get the work done which US-based workers won’t be able to fulfill or complete. Employees are hired to work in a specific field or for a specific position.
Usually, the company or the firm which is hiring the employee generally applies and sponsors the H1B visa. They pay all the charges and also complete all the formalities along with submitting all the important documents which are required in the process of obtaining an H1B visa to bring them to the USA.
Understanding the H1B visa in depth let us first discuss the H1B visa lottery and Caps in detail.
H1B Visa Lottery-
The H1B visa lottery is the same as the normal lottery system. In this, the candidates or the applicants are selected randomly to approve the visa application. It is a computer-generated process that is used in the case of a larger number of applications than the normal limit. When the limit of applications crosses, the U.S uses a lottery system to pick the candidates.
H1B Visa Caps
Talking about H1B visa caps for recent years, here are the. following caps-
- For the H1B regular pool, the cap is 85,000.
- For master’s degree candidates, it is- 20,000.
Having a higher degree is always beneficial for the candidates when it comes to an H1-B visa. Here are what benefits you get in case you have a master’s degree-
If you are a master’s degree holder then the floor is all yours. When it comes to the selection process, candidates having a master’s degree will be the ones to be considered first. As you know, to choose among many applications the U.S opt lottery system, therefore the application of candidates having a master’s degree are the one to enter the lottery pool first after meeting caps on visas the application is selected. Candidates whose application is not selected will again enter the next lottery pool and go through the same selection process.
This simply means that having a master’s degree will increase the chance of your selection. You will get two round chances to get selected for your visa.
This is not the case with people having bachelor’s degrees. Yes! Visa applications of candidates having only a bachelor’s degree will not get two chances for selection rather they only get a chance to enter a regular lottery pool. It is totally on your luck whether you have been selected or not.
What if you aren’t selected?
Like I said if your luck is good enough you will definitely get selected in an H1B lottery process or else you will be out. Being not selected is a disappointing thing and here’s what the US government does-
When an agency files for a candidate’s visa they pay some filing amount. In case of rejection, the USCIS will return the filing amount along with the application to the agency. Then the only option left is to wait for filing the petition for an H1B visa next year and hope that your luck brings some good news to you.
How to qualify and apply for an H1B visa.
You will be called eligible for an H1B visa in case you fulfill these requirements-
- You should at least have your bachelor’s degree in your hand. In case you have a master it will be the cherry on the cake.
- Whatever field you have been selected for, you must have deep knowledge about that particular field.
- You should fulfill all the criteria that are needed for the job.
- You should outstand your knowledge from other US applicants.
Note- In case you are an experience holder for 12 or more than 12 years in the same field then you don’t have to qualify the above-mentioned criteria.
Here is a list of specialty occupations that itself is so specialized and complex that you need a bachelor’s or a master’s degree along with great knowledge to excel in them. These fields are –
- Business Specialties
- Medicine & Health
Once you and your employer meet the above-mentioned criteria, you will become eligible to apply for an H1B visa. Here is what you need to follow while applying for an H1B visa-
Steps for applying for H1B visa application
The H1B visa application procedure requires many steps. These are-
- Find a sponsor for an H1-B visa.
- Ask your employer to submit a Labor Conditions Approval (LCA) and I-129 form.
- Complete all the formalities for the H1B visa application at a U.S. Embassy.
Now, let’s have a look at the steps in detail-
Step 1- Find a sponsor for an H1B visa-
As you know, the H1B visa is very important for a candidate to work in the USA, and it’s the prime duty of an employer to submit the application for H1B at the US embassy along with all the required documents. Therefore, if you are seeking to work in the U.S then you need to find an employer who is willing to hire you and sponsor your H1B visa application process. Talk to your employer about it and make it clear that if they want to hire you, then they have to sponsor your entry to the U.S. Although in many cases an employer themself ask you about it in case they didn’t then it’s you who have to take a step forward.
Step 2- Submit a Labor Conditions Approval (LCA)-
Once you get selected by a US company, they will start your H1B visa application process. The very first thing they will do is to submit a Labor Conditions Approval (LCA) form to the department of labor via the iCERT portal system. The main purpose of submitting the labor conditions approval form is to let the DOL know about the working conditions, pay scale, work location, job information, etc.
This will ensure that the employee they are hiring will get more wages than what they get at present and also there will be no loss or harm to the workers currently working in their company.
Step 3- Submit Form I-129–
After the submission of LCA, now it’s the turn of an employer to submit a petition for non-immigrant workers form I-129. Form I-129 requires certain documents to be submitted along with the fees. These additional documents are-
- Resume (employee)
- Agreement letter
- Experience evaluation proof
- Employee education proof
- Training certificate
- Professional membership documents (if any).
- Letter of support.
- required filing documents
The time taken to complete the petition process may take some time. It may take about 3-4 months to complete the process by the service center. By paying an additional fee, the employer can make the work done earlier.
Step 4- Complete the Application at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate-
Now, the last step is to complete all the processes for the visa at the U.S. Embassy. The time taken to get all things done at the Embassy is about 3-4 days. Not only the employer but the employee has to complete some procedures. These are-
- Fill out the form DS-160
- Schedule an interview
- Pay the required fees
- Attended an interview related to my H1-B visa.
H1B Visa Fee Structure
- Filing Fee- $300
- ACWIA fee for 1-25 full-time employees – is $750
- ACWIA fee for 26+ full time employees – $1,500.
- Fraud prevention and detection fee- $500.
- Premium processing fee- $1225 (optional).
Reasons for H1B Visa Rejection
It is a fact that not all applicants get selected for an H1-B visa. The reason for the rejection could be many. Some of them are-
- In case the employer is found to be guilty, unrealistic, unestablished, non-U.S. operating company and not capable of paying or hiring foriegin workers.
- In case the relationship between the employee and employer is not found to be good enough.
- In case the applicant is less educated or has less experience.
- In case the level of employment does not match that of H1B visa duration.
Challenges faced by H1B visa holders
- Lack of Employment Mobility- H1B visa holders face a lack of employment mobility because of the fixed work permit. Generally, an H1B visa allows you to work for only 3 years which is sponsored by the company they are working for. So! It means they cannot switch their job as switching will results in the cancellation of the H1B visa and the employee might have to return home.
- Receiving a Loan- Due to less or no credit history, it becomes difficult for H1-B visa holders to get a loan in the United States. Also, being a temporary citizen of the U.S, many money lender companies do not consider such people, or in the case considered, a high-interest rate is demanded in return.
What is the date for filing an H1B visa in the year 2022?
The date for filing an H1B visa application in the year 2022 are listed below-
The H1B registration period opens at noon EST- on March 9
The H1B registration period closes at noon EST- on March 12
Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants- March 31
FY 2022 H1B cap-subject petitions may be filed- on April 1.
Being an H1-B visa holder, I can bring my family to the U.S?
Yes, if you are an H1B visa holder it is possible to keep your family for 3 years. To live in the USA, the members of your family will have to apply for an H4 visa.
What health insurance options are available for H1-B visa holders?
For H1B visa holders there are various health insurance options available for them in the USA. These are-
- Short term insurance
- Domestic insurance (long-term)
What is the stay limit for H1-B visa holders in the USA?
For H1B visa holders, there is a stay limit of three years. If you wish you can extend your stay to another three years by completing all the formalities.
Staying and working in the United States is very easy if you have an H1-B visa. The process for completing all the procedures for the H1B visa is initiated by the company which is hiring you. With an H1B visa, you can stay and work for a maximum of six years (including the extended stay year). In this article, I have mentioned all the basic information you need to have about the H1B visa. In case of knowing much about it, you can contact a specialist or take advice from an experienced person.