What is an H-1B Visa?

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What is an H-1B Visa? Blog Image


The U.S. State Department recently launched a program to renew the much sought-after H-1B foreign work visas domestically.

About H-1B Visa

  • It is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise for a specified period.
    • A specialty occupation is one that requires the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • The intent of the H-1B provisions is to help employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce by authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the United States.
  • Occupations that qualify for the H-1B visa are typically in fields such as technology, finance, engineering, architecture, or more.
  • Eligibility: In order to be eligible for the H1B visa, you will need:
    • A valid job offer from a U.S. employer for a role that requires specialty knowledge
    • Proof of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in that field
    • The US employer must show that there is a lack of qualified U.S. applicants for the role.
  • Cap:
    • The annual H-1B visa limit is 85,000. There are 65,000 regular H-1B visas each year, and an additional 20,000 visas are reserved for applicants with advanced degrees. 
    • Some exceptions to the H-1B visa cap include people entering the U.S. to work in higher education or affiliated research/non-profit organizations.
    • Applicants are selected for adjudication via lottery system.
  • Features:
    • The H-1B visa is valid for three years and can be extended one time for an additional three years. In general, the H-1B is valid for a maximum of six years.
    • There is no limit to the number of H1-B Visas that an individual can have in his or her lifetime.
    • H1-B holders can seek Green Card or Lawful Permanent Residency for themselves and their family.
    • If the H1-B holder is changing jobs, he or she must reapply for a new visa.

Q1) What is a US L1 Visa?

L1 Visa is an Intra-Company Transferee Visa. It allows large multinationals (need not be a US company) - with operations across various countries - to shift employees in specialized positions on a temporary basis to the US. There are two types of L1 visas - L1A and L1B. Managers and executives come under the category of L1As while L1Bs encompass workers with specialized knowledge. There is no education requirement for the L1 visa. L-1A visa holders are allowed a maximum stay of seven years in the U.S while s L-1B visa holders are allowed a maximum stay of five years.

Source: H-1B visa domestic renewal programme launched in US, accepting applications until April 1