Things You Should Know about H-1 Visa

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US FlagWorking in the US is desirable for many foreign professionals because of the higher pay. It is also an impressive addition to their resume back in the home country. This can open better opportunities for the worker whether they go home after or stay on in the US as an immigrant. However, getting a Salt Lake City H-1 visa is not easy. 

Here are some things you should know.

What is an H-1 visa?

To clarify, the H-1 and H-1B visa are one and the same. An H-1 visa category actually does not exist. The H-1B visa refers to a temporary permit granted to foreign professionals to work in the US. You can only get one if you have an employer to sponsor you, and it is only for people in a “specialty” occupation. This means you cannot get one unless you already have an employer in the US who is willing to petition and process your visa for you.

Once you get an H-1B visa, you can work only for your sponsoring sponsor for three years, with an option to extend for another three years. After that, you have to go back home or apply for immigrant status, says

What is a specialty occupation?

The petitioning employer has to show that the job is a specialty occupation. This means the qualified person to do the job needs a specific degree. For example, you need a degree in engineering for an engineering job. However, becomes harder to prove a specialty occupation when the job does not require a specific degree. A good example is sales, which anyone with any degree can do. In addition, the employer has to show that the reason for hiring a foreign professional is there are not enough qualified local job seekers to fill the demand.

How hard is it to get one?

Finding an employer to help you get a visa is the easy part. Getting past the requirements is another thing altogether. There is a lot of pressure from local labor to limit the entry of foreign professionals into the job market because they supposedly take jobs away from Americans. While this is not true, the belief persists. There is also an annual limit of 65,000 H-1B visas, plus 20,000 for master degree and PhD holders for first-time applicants.

Because of the limits placed for H-1 B visas, employers have to go through a lot of trouble and expense to get a visa for their foreign hires. Without the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, it can be very hard to get one.