The H1B Visa
The H1B visa is available to noncitizens who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.
To qualify for an H1B visa for specialty occupations, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; and
- Bachelor’s degree of higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent).
Also, the position must meet one of the following criteria to qualify:
- Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent as a minimum entry requirement,
- The degree requirement is common to the industry; or, the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by an individual with a degree,
- The employer usually requires a degree or equivalent for the position,
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.
To qualify for an H1B visa as a DOD researcher and development project worker, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Obtain a verification letter from the DOD project manager for the particular project stating that the applicant will be working on a cooperative research and development project,
- Provide a general description of the beneficiary’s duties on the particular project and the actual dates of employment for the project,
- Provide a statement indicating the names of noncitizens currently employed on the project in the United States and the names of noncitizens whose employment on the project ended within the past year.
Also, the petitioner must meet one of the following criteria:
- Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the duties from an accredited college or university, or hold a foreign equivalent degree to a bachelor’s degree or higher,
- Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the duties of the job and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment,
- Have education, specialized training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of a U.S bachelor’s or higher degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.
To qualify for an H1B visa as a fashion model, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence,
- You must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.
How to Apply for an H1B Visa
If you meet the requirements for an H1B visa, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- Fill out a Form G-28. This form entitles your attorney or accredited representative to act on your behalf,
- For fashion models, your employer must fill out a Labor Certification form to the Department of Labor,
- Employer or agent submits a form I-129 to USCIS,
- Documentation that you are eligible to apply for a visa,
- Information about the business you intend to work with or for (name, location, type of business, business owner, etc.),
- U.S. Company Support Statement. This document is supplied by the U.S. employer and explains why your services are necessary for the business,
- Evidence that you plan to leave the United States after your H1B visa expires or is terminated.
If you are outside the United States, you should apply for your H1B visa at a consulate or embassy. It is recommended to work with a qualified immigration attorney to ensure your documents are filed correctly and expeditiously.
An H1B visa comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States,
- Your immediate family (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age) can also qualify for an visa. While in the United States, your children can go to school and your spouse can apply for an EAD, employment authorization document, giving them permission to work legally in the United States.