H-1B Visas for Specialty Occupation Workers
The H-1B visa category requires the ability to perform specific duties so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is normally associated with the attainment of a bachelor's degree or higher in that field. To apply for an H1-B visa the job offered must have the following minimum degree requirement:
- A Bachelor's Degree in an academic field related to the job duties, or
- A Bachelor's Degree Equivalent based on education, training and/or experience.
The degree requirement must be normal for the type of job being offered and must be common in the industry for similar positions. For employee candidates holding degrees from non-U.S. schools, TSM will have the degree evaluated by a professional credentials evaluator to determine if it is the equivalent of a United States Bachelor's degree.
The H-1B visa category carries significant advantages in terms of flexibility and potential long-term eligibility, especially for foreign nationals from visa backlogged countries such has India and China. Since the availability of new H-1B visas is severely limited by law to preset annual quotas, TSM works closely with employers to plan ahead to maximize the chance of securing new H-1B visas for their foreign national workforce. We also map out and track the immigration history of each employee to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the benefits associated with H-1B status.
A prospective employee who currently holds H-1B status may work for the petitioning company while an H-1B petition is pending under specific qualifying circumstances listed below. The prospective employee must have a previously approved H-1B petition and an unexpired arrival/departure card (form I-94) in order to be lawfully employed by the petitioning employer while the new H-1B petition is pending.
- A foreign national who is continuing an already existing H-1B employment with a petitioner in the same specialty occupation may be employed by that petitioner for a period of up to 240 days during the pendency of an extension petition.
- A foreign national who is transferring from an already existing H-1B employment with a different employer in H-1B status may be employed by a new employer during the pendency of a change of employer extension petition.
Please contact our office if your prospective employee is in the United States and may be traveling outside the US during the pendency of an H-1B petition. There are special rules regarding various travel situations and each situation must be examined to determine the best possible course of action for employers and prospective aliens.