H-1B Visa Requirements

H-1B visas are non-immigrant work visas and U.S. employers use these visas to bring skilled foreign workers to the U.S. Applications for H-1B visas cannot be filed by the foreign workers; U.S. employers who seek to hire them need to file applications for them. A variety of requirements must be met by the sponsoring U.S. employers and the foreign nationals who seek to work in the U.S. under the H-1B visa category.

U.S. employers must prove that an employer-employee relationship exists between them and the foreign workers there are sponsoring. The employer who is petitioning will have the right to control the beneficiary’s employment. To become eligible for an H-1B visa, a foreign national must have a bachelor’s or an advanced degree from an accredited foreign college or university or from a U.S. university. That degree must be equal to a U.S. degree that is required to enter the specialty occupation.

Individuals who do not hold degrees may also qualify for H-1B visas, provided they have the equivalent work experience. In this case, they need to show that they have the required work experience by providing letters from previous employers with details about their job duties and about the specialized knowledge required to perform the job.

Certain occupations require licenses to practice and there are some American states that prevent foreign workers from practicing certain professions that require licenses to practice. U.S. employers who are hiring H-1B workers for such occupations need to show that they are licensed professionals, apart from establishing that they have the required educational requirements.

The sponsoring U.S. employers need to adhere to the rules of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and obtain Labor Condition Applications (LCA). Only after the DOL approves the LCAs,should the  U.S. employers file Form I-129 with USCIS for the foreign workers. The sponsors also need to prove that the H-1B workers will be paid the ‘prevailing wage’ that they pay the other workers in the U.S. Employers must be capable of paying the foreign workers and extend those workers bona fide job offers.