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An H1B visa is a temporary work visa foreign workers with a job offer in a specialty occupation in the US. The US immigration legislation caps the number of H1B visas issued to 65,000 per fiscal year (from October 1 to September 30).
Nationals of Chile and Singapore may be eligible to apply for an H1B1 visa to work in the US which is exempt from this cap.
On April 1st, 2016 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H1-B petitions on a first come first served basis. Traditionally, the cap limit is reached very quickly and only those who act in time and apply are able to obtain the visa. Prospective employees of successful H1B petitions will be eligible to start working in the U.S. on October 1, 2016.
If you miss the H1B filing in 2016, you will not have a chance to file a new H1B until April 2017, and your prospective employee will not be able to come to the US under the H1B program until October 1, 2017.
To avoid this unfavourable situation, you are advised to begin planning for the April 2016 filing now, thus ensuring that your H1B petition will be ready to file before April 1st.
To qualify for an H1B visa to work in the US, a foreign worker must have a temporary offer of employment in a specialty occupation from a US employer.
A specialty occupation is an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge that usually requires the equivalent of at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience. Typical specialty occupation fields include architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, medicine, health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology and the arts. Fashion models of distinguished merit and ability may also qualify for an H1B visa.
H1B visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.
An H1B visa entitles the holder to live and work in the US temporarily. An H1B visa is usually granted for an initial period of 3 years and extensions may be granted. Foreign workers with an H1B visa are permitted dual intent, meaning the applicant can maintain H1B visa status while applying for a Green Card to remain in the US permanently.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (H4 visa) to join their spouse or parent in the US. Accompanying spouses and children are entitled to study in the United States but are not entitled to undertake any employment without obtaining an appropriate work visa.
To see a full listing of our fees and services,Specialty Occupation Visa (H-1B) processing times and application costs please visit our FAQ page.