H-1B Visa

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    H-1B Visa Types

    As of the 2021 fiscal year, H-1B temporary workers may petition for temporary employment based on several different professional categories. Applicants petitioning through the H-1B program are distinguished based on merit and ability verified through meeting credential requirements and experiential criteria.

    H-1B1 Specialty Occupations can include those whose professions and expertise fall under:

    • Engineering
    • Physical sciences
    • Social sciences
    • Computer sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Medicine and healthcare
    • Business and sales
    • Accounting
    • Education
    • Law
    • Theology
    • The Arts

    H-1B2 Department of Defense (DOD) Researcher and Development Project Worker. Under this category, highly skilled applicants are selected to work within a research or development capacity under the United States Department of Defense (DOD). Only 100 H-1B2 visas are issued each fiscal year, making this program more competitive for potential applicants. Before receiving approval for H-1B2 status, the applicant is required to have been offered and accepted a qualified position. Applicants are eligible to apply for the H-1B2 status six months before the employer petitions on their behalf. 

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    H-1B Visa Statistics and Key Updates

    H-1B Visa Qualifiers

    The majority of H-1B temporary workers fall under the specialty occupation or the researcher and developer category. Specialized professions that fall under these categories are required to meet one of the following criteria for higher education.

    • Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university or college; a foreign equivalent is acceptable provided the credentials are upheld under evaluative scrutiny.
    • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that allows them to fully practice the specialty occupation immediately in the state of intended employment.
    • Demonstrate having the relative education, experience, and training necessary to perform the role of employment.

    2021 Caps Under the H-1B Visa

    The 85,000 annual H-1B limit is broken into two caps: the first threshold for the regular cap is limited to 65,000 skill and qualified applicants. The remaining 20,000 places are offered to H-1B visa holders with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university. These totals comprise 0.05% of the U.S. labor force, with about two-thirds of the program going towards computer science and engineering positions.

    There following H-1B recipients are exempt from cap limits due to the demand for their specialized skill set and prestigious/esteemed position:

    • Institution of higher education, like a college or university
    • A nonprofit entity affiliated with a higher education institution
    • Nonprofit research organizations
    • Government research organization

    H-1B Visa Application Process

    The employer initiates the H-1B visa process. Applicants who fall under these categories must have their employer prepare to submit the following documents on their behalf. H-1B2 visa applicants are exempt from filing a labor certification.

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