The H1B is a US visa provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows employers from the US to employ foreign workers in specialty operations. H1B visa is a professional, non-immigrant work visa and is one of the most widely sought after visa classifications in the US.
The foreign employee should possess at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent and state licensure to get the H1B visa. H1B visa allows the employee to live in the US for a minimum of 3 years and can be extended to another 3 years and a for certain defence related jobs it can be extended up to 10 years. H1B visa holders who have completed working at the US for 6 years and are willing to continue staying there should remain outside US for one year till they obtain permanent residence status.
H1B visas comes with some benefits as well. An H1B visa holder can seek for Green Card or Lawful Permanent Residency for themselves and their family. An individual can own H1B visa any number of time in his life. If an employer is willing to terminate an H1B visa employee, the company must pay the transportation cost for the employee to get back to his or her country. If an H1B visa holder is willing to change the job, he or she must apply for a new visa altogether. And those who want to convert their H4 visa to H1B visa status will get 6 years permit, from the date the status is changed to H1B status.
A recent study conducted by the researchers at the Centre for Global Development and the University of Michigan said that H1B visa which has been widely criticized for taking away American jobs are actually making economic benefits for both the US and India. There was an increase of about $17.3 billion or 0.36% of combined monetary profit for both India and the US due to the H1B visa program in 2010.
Requirements Of H1B Visa
A valid employer-employee relationship is determined by the level of control the employer will have on the H1B visa worker.
To get the H1B visa, you must of course have a bachelor’s degree or anything that is equivalent and your job must be in a specialty occupation that is related to your field of study and not any other educational background.
You must either be paid the actual wage or the prevailing wage for your occupation. Prevailing wages are always dependent on the designation of work and the geographic location of your work place. The US holds a database under the US Department of Labor (DOL) with updated prevailing wage level based on the occupation and work location.
H1B Visa Application Process
H1B visa can be filed in one of the two methods:
- H1B Regular Processing
- H1B Premium Processing
Regular H1B visa is cost-effective in nature. It has no fixed time frame and usually takes anywhere between 1 month to 6 months for the visa to be processed. Whereas premium processing is quite faster. American government will change an extra fee of $1,225 per premium processing and it would generally take 15 days to process an application under the premium processing.
H1B Premium Processing
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had resumed the premium processing of H1B visas this April, due to the huge rush of petitions. But on July 24 2017, USCIS resumed accepting premium processing of for certain cap-exempt HIB petitions, with subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap.
The premium processing has also been resumed for additional 20,000 petitions that are set aside to hire foreign workers who has an US higher educational degree.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) performs many administrative functions that are formerly carried out by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The key role of USCIS is to promote national security, o eliminate immigration case backlogs, and to improve customer services.
How To File An H1B Visa Premium Processing With The USCIS
Firstly, sign I-907 to request for H1B premium processing service and attach a separate remittance of $1000 along. The I-907 will be forwarded to the USCIS service centre where your I-129 will be on hold. Or you can also choose to file the I-907 and I-129 at the designated service centre. The unique address shown on the Form I-907 should be used to deliver properly to the Service centre’s “premium processing H1B Visa Service” in both the cases.
Important things to keep in mind while applying for H1B visa for the first time
If you are applying for H1B visa for the first time, ensure you take all your related documents along with you so that you can save time and let the process take place smoothly without any hassle.
- Ensure you carry the original copies of your education certificates.
- Do not forget to carry your previous employers’ work experience certificate with you.
And, those who are already have an H1B visa and want to renew it, you must carry,
- Your payslips from the current employer
- US bank statements of 12 months, to which your salary is credit.
- Contact details of your company manager
- Your resume or CV