Who Is Eligible for H1 Visas in the U.S.?

Who Is Eligible for H1 Visas in the U.S.
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The H1 visa program allows employers to hire foreign professionals to work in specialty occupations. You may be eligible for an H1 visa in the U.S. if you hold a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) in a qualifying field and have a job offer. 

Immigration law is complex and constantly changing, and securing an H1 visa requires many steps. An Orlando H1 work visa lawyer with our firm can guide you through the process and help you establish your eligibility to live and work in the United States. 

H1 Visa Eligibility Criteria

The purpose of the H1 visa program is to help employers find experienced and educated workers to fill positions they cannot fill through the U.S. workforce. The most common type of H1 visa is an H-1B, which is available to workers with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. 

You may be eligible for an H1-B visa if you have education or work experience in a specialty occupation, including but not limited to one of the following:

  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Computer-related fields
  • Teaching and educational services
  • Medicine and health care
  • Administrative specializations
  • Mathematics or science
  • Management
  • Art
  • Law

In addition to H-1B visas, H1 work visas are available to the following foreign professionals:

  • H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement workers in specialty occupations from Chile and Singapore
  • H-1B2: Workers in specialty occupations related to Department of Defense Cooperative Research and Development projects or co-production projects.
  • H-1B3: Fashion models of “distinguished merit and ability”
  • H-1C: Registered nurses working in an area where there is a health care professional shortage (as identified by the Department of Labor (DOL))

To consult with an experienced immigration lawyer today, call 855-780-9986

How do You Apply for an H1 Visa? 

There are several steps you and your employer must complete when applying for an H1 visa:

  1. Your employer must submit and get approval of a Labor Condition Application (LCA). An LCA attests that your employer will adhere to certain DOL requirements, including paying H-1B workers prevailing wages and not hiring foreign professionals to fill positions at a facility where there is an ongoing strike or lockout. 
  2. Your employer must complete and file a Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker. Your employer must complete Form I-129 and submit it with the LCA and other supporting documents. 
  3. You must apply for an H-1B visa. Once your employer’s I-129 petition gets approved, you must apply for your H-1B visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. You then must apply for admission into the country through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Is There an Application Fee? 

There is a $460 fee to file Form 1-129. When filing for an H-1B visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also requires your employer to pay a $4,000 fee if all of the following apply:

  • The company employs 50 or more people in the U.S.
  • More than half of all employees are in non-immigrant status.
  • The H-1B petition was filed after Dec. 18, 2015.
  • The H-1B petition seeks initial immigration status or is to obtain authorization for an H-1B worker to change employers.

Your employer does not need to pay the fee when amending an H-1B petition, requesting an H-1B extension, or filing a petition based on another work visa category (such as H-1B1 or H-1C)

How Many Visa Applications Receive Approvals? 

According to USCIS, the agency limits new H-1B visas to 65,000 per year. The USCIS allows another 20,000 petitions from those with a master’s degree or higher from a United States institution of higher learning. The H-1B cap also does not apply to those petitioned for or employed by an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization.

How Long Can You Stay in the U.S. on an H1 Visa? 

H1 visa holders can stay in the U.S. for up to three years. You can usually extend this time to up to six years (and sometimes longer). 

If you wish to remain in the county or seek lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, our law firm’s immigration attorneys can assist you with filing for an extension or applying for a Green Card. We can also help if you wish to change jobs or otherwise amend your H-1B status. 

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Do You Need an Immigration Lawyer to Obtain an H1 Visa? 

You can apply for an H1 visa without a lawyer’s help, but it can be challenging. It may benefit you to work with an attorney in the U.S. who can assist you and your employer. Hiring our legal team can also take the stress out of the application process and processing times. It can also ensure you avoid common errors that could lead to a delay in approval or denial of your visa application. 

An immigration lawyer with our firm can do the following:

  • Explain your rights and obligations under U.S. immigration law
  • Help you and your employer correctly complete and promptly file an LCA and H-1B visa application 
  • Obtain and file documents and evidence to support your petition
  • Manage paperwork, deadlines, and fees
  • Prepare you for immigration appointments and interviews
  • Answer your immigration questions and provide you with frequent and timely updates

We have served clients across Central Florida for more than 40 years and have attorneys on staff experienced in all areas of the law. We help with H-1B applications, but we can also assist those wanting to enter the U.S. on other immigrant and non-immigrant visas. 

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Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns About Your H1 Visa Petition

Do not leave something as vital as your employment and ability to enter the United States up to chance. Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns today for a free consultation. A team member is available 24/7 to tell you more about how our H1 work visa attorneys can help you and your employer with the steps necessary to obtain H1-B status. 

We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our services will cost you nothing up front or out of pocket. Let us put our experience, skills, and resources to work for you. Hablamos español. 

Call or text 855-780-9986 or submit our Consultation Request form today



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