Eligibility To Apply For H-1B
One of the most common employment-based visas is the H-1B visa for specialty occupations. It is suitable for applicants competent in the theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge in their field.
At a minimum, they must possess a bachelor’s degree in their specialty from an accredited institution. Foreign degrees must be equivalent to similar U.S. qualifications. Alternatively, applicants may have an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that fully authorizes them to practice the specialty occupation.
The job that an applicant wishes to fill must require these qualifications.
Annual H-1B Cap & Lottery
Only 85,000 H-1B visas are issued every year; 65,000 for applicants with undergraduate degrees and 20,000 for applicants with advanced degrees. Consequently, individuals who wish to obtain this visa must participate in the annual H-1B lottery.
Those with advanced degrees have a greater chance of being selected as they can participate in both the regular lottery and the advanced degree lottery.
Cap-Exempt H-1B Positions
Some employers are eligible to employ individuals in positions not subject to the H-1B cap. Cap-exempt H-1B visas can be issued to persons seeking employment at:
Institutions of higher education;
Non-profit entities associated with higher education institutions;
Non-profit research organizations or governmental research organizations; and
Organizations that require the H-1B employee to be employed by one of the aforementioned categories of employers.
Top H-1B Sponsors
According to H-1B Grader, the top H-1B sponsors for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021 were:
Cognizant Technology Solutions US Corp
Amazon.com Services LLC
Ernst & Young US LLP
HCL America INC
Amazon Web Services INC
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Qualcomm Technologies INC
Tata Consultancy Services Limited
Tech Mahindra Americas INC
Compunnel Software Group INC
JPMorgan Chase & CO
Capgemini America INC
Wal Mart Associates INC
Top H-1B Cap-Exempt Sponsors
According to myvisajobs.com, the top H1B cap-exempt sponsors are:
University Of Michigan
Johns Hopkins University
University of Pittsburgh
Trustees of The University Of Pennsylvania -
The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford, Jr. University
University of Minnesota
The University of Iowa
National Institutes of Health, Hhs
Washington University in St. Louis
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
University of California, San Francisco
University of Colorado
University of Florida
The University of Chicago
How To Obtain An H-1B Visa?
Step 1: Obtain prospective employment from sponsoring employer. [Note that the employer must facilitate and pay for the H-1B visa process and cannot request compensation from the prospective employee (proposed beneficiary)].
Step 2: The sponsor (or their legal representative) must electronically submit an H-1B registration on a USCIS online account during the annual registration period and pay the $10 fee. For 2022, the registration will run from March 9, 2022 to March 25, 2022.
The sponsor must provide the following information about the proposed beneficiary:
Legal Name (First, Middle and Last Name);
Date of Birth;
Country of Birth;
Country of Citizenship; and
It is imperative that a prospective petitioner only submit the beneficiary’s information once. Multiple entries will result in the removal of all registrations for that beneficiary made by that petitioner. However, various employers can submit registrations for the same beneficiary.
Shortly after the registration period closes, USCIS will notify registrants if they were successful in the lottery and can file Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Employers or their representatives will receive an email notification prompting them to log onto their MyUSCIS portal to determine their selection status.
I-129 petitions must be filed within 90 days of the date of the notice that the sponsor is eligible to apply.
Step 3: The sponsor/ representative will submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) (Form ETA-9035/ 9035E) to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This form ensures that the prospective employee will be paid a fair wage, comparable to those employed in a similar position in the same geographical area.
It also documents employment information such as the intended period of employment, working conditions and information about the employer.
Step 4: The sponsor/representative will submit an I-129 petition along with other supporting documents.
USCIS has identified the following supporting documents:
Proof the beneficiary maintained status (if seeking a change of status or extension of stay);
Proof the proposed employment qualifies as a specialty occupation;
Evidence showing the beneficiary is qualified to perform the specialty occupation;
A copy of any required license or other official permission for the beneficiary to perform the specialty occupation in the state of intended employment (if applicable);
A copy of any written contract between the employer and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed;
An itinerary showing the date and places of assignment if the petition indicates that the beneficiary will be providing services at more than one location; and
A corresponding Labor Condition Application (LCA) that has been certified by the Department of Labor (DOL) and signed by the petitioner and attorney/representative (if applicable).
Step 5: Once the I-129 petition is approved, the beneficiary may apply for an H-1B visa at a U.S. post.
If you would like assistance petitioning for a foreign worker or discuss any other immigration matter, please contact us here.
We assist countless foreign nationals and we will be happy to personally assist you with your application as well. Send us an E-mail or call us at (888)354-6257. For reasons on why you should consult an immigration attorney whenever you have an immigration issue, see our page titled: Reasons Why it is Vital to Use an Immigration Lawyer.