The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit & employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations within the USA for a specified period of time. The H-1B program provides the opportunity for foreign workers in specialty occupations to legally live and work in the US for a total of 6 consecutive years and entitles their spouse and children (under the age of 21) to accompany them and legally live in the USA on an H-4 visa. However, the spouse and children have to obtain their own work visa for working.
The U.S. employer must demonstrate that the employment is offered in a specialty occupation, either on a full or part-time basis, located within the U.S. and that the prospective employee has met the required qualifications.
The H1B visa is issued for a specialty occupation, requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and requires the visa holder to have at least a Bachelors degree or its equivalent.
- Limit of H1B Visa: Total stay is limited to 6 years. Initial approval is for 3 years, which can be extended for an increment of up to 3 years.
- Multiple Employers: H1B aliens may work for more than one U.S. employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by each employer.
- Family Status: The spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of H1B professionals are allowed to stay in the United States under the H4 category for the same duration as the H1B status
- Permanent Residence (Green Card): An H1B holder is eligible to seek permanent residency to USA
- H1B visa holder can buy or sell real estate or any other property in USA.
- H1B visa holder can purchase lottery tickets
- H1B visa holder can invest in the stock market as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (H1B):
Changing Employer? H1B can be transferred to a new employer.
You can also start working for new employer upon the receipt of H1 transfer case.
What is the USCIS Fee for filing for H1B Petition?
The fee ranges from $1570 to $2320.
Should the H1B holder be working at all times?
As long as the employer/employee relationship exists, an H1B holder is still in status. An H1B alien may work in full or part-time employment and continue to be in status. A lot depends on the work relationship of the visa holder. Just like other employees, the H1 B visa holder can enjoy all the benefits of employment, such as apply for vacation, apply for sick/maternity/paternity leave, etc.