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The basic requirements necessary to obtain an H-1B visa

Throughout the nation employers hire individuals from other countries, to work at businesses. One way in which this is accomplished is via an H-1B visa. Though petitions for fiscal year 2016 will not be accepted until next spring, the fiscal year for employees who received a visa for 2015 begins at the start of next month. This may prompt some individuals to wonder about the requirements for obtaining this type of visa.

The first requirement is that a valid employer-employee relationship must exist between the applicant and the employer located in the United States. Among other things this may be illustrated by an employer’s ability to supervise, pay, hire or fire the individual seeking the H-1B visa.

Second, an H-1B visa must be available. This is sometimes easier said than done since there is a cap of 65,000 visas each year. Another 20,000 visas are awarded to individuals who have a master’s degree from a school in the U.S. There are several other exemptions to the numerical cap based upon the type of employer a worker is employed by.

Next, the job must be considered a specialty occupation and be in a field related to the field in which the applicant studied. To be considered a specialty occupation it needs to either require a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

Last, at a minimum, the H-1B petitioner must be paid the prevailing or actual wage. It actually must be the higher of the two. The prevailing wage can be determined by looking to the database maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sometimes individuals need help with immigration matters. Other times however, it is a business. In either situation, an immigration lawyer could be of assistance.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Understanding H-1B Requirements,” Accessed Sept. 23, 2014

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