Working in America
H1B visa, h1b lawyer, h1b attorney
What is a Visa?
A "Visa" is simply a stamp in a
passport that gives the passport holder authorization to
enter the United States. The INS (Immigration and
Naturalization Service) handles most matters involving
visas. You may find an immigration lawyer to help you
with your H1 visa or any other visa on this site.
What is the H1-B Visa?
The H1-B visa is also commonly called
a "work visa" or "work permit." This is the most common
form of temporary work visa. It enables the foreign
worker to enter the United States to work temporarily in
a professional capacity. H1B Employment opportunities
in the state of Minnesota, which reflect the national
trend, are abundant, so abundant that employers are
seeking out the assistance of foreign workers to fill
the gaps in the workplace. To locate an H1B job in
the U.S. use the links at the right to draft and post
The government requires
at least five agencies to certify a foreign employee for
H1B work in the United States, often a long process in
itself. But the government recently made this process
even more arduous by reducing its funding to one key
player in the certification process, the State Economic
Security Department. This cut in funding has had a grave
impact on this state’s, as well as this country’s,
ability to recruit and retain foreign professionals for
employment, especially those H1B professionals with
technical experience and in the field of health care.
How Do I Qualify?
for an H1-B foreign workers must fit into a category of
"priority workers" which include:
Generally, foreign workers must
also demonstrate that the occupation sought is of a
special nature that cannot be easily filled with the
workforce available in the United States. Oftentimes
demonstrating the special nature of a position requires
a statement by the sponsoring employer. The applicant
should also be able to demonstrate advanced education
skills either through a degree from a foreign university
or equivalent employment history. Within each of these
three main categories, there are H1B sub-groups, all
with their own requirements. It should be noted that
there is typically a backlog for H1B workers from China
and India in the second and third H1B preference
category. To qualify as a H1B "professional" under U.S.
immigration laws, you must have at least a bachelor's
degree or its equivalent. Work experience may satisfy
this prerequisite if the work was in a field that
generally requires a bachelor's degree. Additionally,
the foreign worker must be employed in a "professional
capacity." This means that the employment must be a
legitimate professional job requiring a professional
education and paying a commensurate salary. The foreign
worker cannot simply be engaged in the employment as a
hobby or for religious purposes.
- H1B workers with advanced degrees
or exceptional ability;
- H1B professionals (Bachelor's
Degree or the equivalent);
- H1B skilled workers and others.
Click Here To View an
Employer/Employee Checklist for the H1-B.
The H1-B visa is not only for those
attempting to gain entry into the United States, but
also for those already in this country, for example, an
individual in the United States on a student visa may
seek an H1-B visa to remain in this country after their
student visa expires. Requirements for foreign nationals
already in the U.S. is similar to the requirements for
non-resident aliens. They must also demonstrate their
specialty and credentials just as if applying from
The H1-B visa is also
linked to the particular employer
sponsoring the foreign worker. Not only must you have a
sponsoring employer to apply, but the H1-B cannot be
transferred for employment with any other employer. In
other words, if you seek to change jobs, you must
re-qualify and reapply with the new employer.
In today's employment market,
professionals in the areas of software development,
informational systems, nurses and other health care
professionals are in short supply and high demand. As a
result, numerous H1-B visas are issued in these fields
each year. However, the number of H1-B visas issues each
year is strictly limited and is reached earlier and
earlier each year. The application process for H1-B
visas begins in October. In 2000, the H1-B quota was
reached by mid-March.
Even after the limit of H1-B visas is
reached each year, demand for professional workers
remains high. It is for that reason that the U.S.
legislature has debated increasing the number of H1-B
visas for these particular professions. Despite these
efforts, to date, no additional visa categories have
- U.S. Bachelors Degree or foreign
equivalent (if degree is foreign) analysis by
independent credentials evaluations service
attesting that foreign degree is equivalent to U.S.
Bachelors Degree; or
- Professional job offer which
closely parallels the training and background of the
particular employee; and
- Filing of a Labor Condition
Attestation with the U.S. Department of Labor;
- Prevailing wage survey conducting
by the local state employment agency to protect the
- I-129H petition approved by INS.
Leave my Family?
A professional worker's
spouse and any unmarried children under the age of
twenty-one (21) are also allowed to reside in the United
States for the same period of time as the H1-B remains
in effect. The spouse and minor children must complete a
application before residency is allowed.
May I Remain in The United States on the H1-B Visa?
Generally, the H1-B visa is valid for
three years. However, it may also be
extended for an additional three years resulting in
a six-year maximum. If you seek a second
H1-B because you changed employers, this
will not extend your stay under the H1-B
for another six years. The absolute maximum duration for
a visa under the "H" category is six years.
Happens when my H1-B expires?
After your H1-B visa
expires, you must leave the country for no less than one
year. After the one year period has elapsed, you may
once again reapply for the H1-B. However, one of the
greatest advantages to the H1-B visa is that it allows
the professional worker to seek permanent residency, or
a "Green Card" for the worker and his/her entire nuclear
family while working in the United States.
Given the complexities of
the system, professional representation for those
seeking employment in the United States is well advised.
Often, mitigating circumstances may be overlooked by
those unfamiliar with the system. Language barriers
often lead to even more difficulties and frustration.
Click Here To View an
Employer/Employee Checklist for the H1-B.
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