The H-1B visa is in high demand and there is a limited number of people who can receive them per year. If an employer requires a certain type of work on a specialized topic they are going to want to find the best possible person for the job. Sometimes that person will not be easy to find either in their company or in the United States in general. An H-1B visa is a great option to explore employees outside of the United States and give opportunities to foreign workers. If you need help regarding employment visas, an experienced employment immigration lawyer in NYC can offer assistance.

What is an H-1B Visa?

An H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. This visa allows United States companies and employers to employ foreign workers with specialized skills. This visa is temporary and benefits employers who need specialty work and cannot obtain the necessary skills from a U.S. worker. It is also beneficial for the employee as they have an impressive and particular skill set with high levels of education or experience. With this program, they can gain legal employment in the United States. Employers must pay H-1B workers wages that equal or exceed the wages of their other employees with similar experience, or the market value for the specific type of work.

Because of how popular this visa is, it operates on a lottery system. The fee to enter the lottery is $10. If the applicant gets chosen then the employer will file Form I-129 which is the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with a fee of $460.

Who is Eligible for an H-1B Visa?

Anyone can petition for an H-1B visa, given that they meet certain qualifications. To be eligible, you need:

  • To have a valid job offer related to your special knowledge from a United States employer
  • Proof that you have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) in the field
  • Your potential employer to show that they cannot obtain a qualified applicant in the United States

What is the Processing Time for my H-1B Visa?

How long the processing time takes for your H-1B status will vary. In general, the average time frame is about 2 to 6 months but it can last longer as the process is more complex than some other immigrant statuses. Status approvals have been known to take as long as 10 months.

Can I Expedite the Process?

There is a way to decrease the processing time on your visa. Premium processing can expedite the process of the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) making their judgment. There is a hefty fee associated with premium processing. In February 2024, the USCIS increased the premium processing fee from $2,500 to $2,805. This fee ensures that the USCIS will adjudicate your petition within 15 business days of receiving the fee or else you will be refunded.