The United States welcomes thousands of foreign workers in multiple occupations or employment categories every year. All foreign workers must obtain a work visa or permission to work legally in the U.S. Each employment category for admission has different requirements, conditions and authorized periods of stay.
H-1B Work Visas:
H-1B work visa is one of the more popular and favorable visa categories. However, the application process is very selective and involves many complex steps.
The H-1B work visa is a temporary, employment-based visa that will allow you to come to and work in the U.S. for a period of up to six years. If you are granted an H-1B visa you will initially be allowed to work in the U.S. for three years. You can then renew the visa for three more years. Furthermore, you may be able to apply for more permanent status after entering the U.S.
H-1B visas are available to foreign workers who come to the United States temporarily to perform services in a “specialty occupation.” So, what is a “specialty occupation?” A specialty occupation is one that meets the following criteria:
- The industry requires at least a Bachelors Degree (or its equivalent) to work in the position you seek; OR
- The industry requires expertise and experience through progressively responsible positions directly related to the occupation.
If you are using experience in place of a four-year bachelor’s degree, you must submit an evaluation of your work experience. There are many credentials evaluation companies in the U.S. that can prepare this evaluation for you. Don’t worry, our immigration attorneys in Tulsa can help.
How Long Does the Process Take in Oklahoma?
How long does the process take, start to finish? Well, the process can take as little as three to six months. We can even request expedited service to speed up the process for an additional premium fee. Expedited processing can reduce the processing time to as little as 15 days.
The H-1B work visa has an annual numerical limit, or “cap,” of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. However, not all H-1B visa applicants are subject to this annual cap. The fiscal year for immigration purposes begins on October 1, which means that USCIS will not consider applications for the next year until that date. H-1B applications for the fiscal year beginning in October, can be submitted six months prior to the start of the fiscal year, meaning any time after April 1. This is important to keep in mind when evaluating the length of the process. We can assist you with the application, and can help with any other legal issues or hearings that need to be addressed.