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Understanding H-1B visas

Many companies in Southern California have a need for highly educated and skilled personnel. In many occasions, companies look overseas when the domestic supply of such individuals runs low. Obtaining a Green Card, which is a prelude to immigration to the United States, can take more time than either the company or the applicant can spend. Therefore, the government has created a separate, non-immigration type of visa to accommodate the temporary residence of a highly trained or key employee from another country.

These visas are known as H-1B visas, and they can be granted only to individuals who are qualified for one of the following types of jobs:

  • Jobs that have a minimum entry requirement of a bachelor's degree or equivalent,
  • Jobs that have a degree requirement that is common to the industry,
  • Jobs that normally require a degree according to the employer's hiring standards, or
  • Jobs that have specific duties that are so specialized or complex that requisite knowledge to perform the duties of the position are equivalent to attainment of a bachelor's degree

The individual seeking an H-1 visa must have completed a United States bachelor's degree program, hold a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree, hold an unrestricted state license to fully practice the specialty occupation, or have education, training or experience that is the equivalent to such a degree.

H-1B visas normally have a three-year length, although it may be possible in some circumstances to extend the visa for three additional years. A person in the United States on an H-1B visa can apply for a Green Card if the H-1B is about to expire. A current problem with H-1B visas is the existing cap on such visas. The current cap is 85,000 visas, but this number has heavily oversubscribed. At the moment, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services accepts applications and then holds a lottery to determine which applicants get a visa.

Anyone seeking an H-1B visa, either as an employer or potential employee, may wish to consult an immigration attorney for advice. Doing so may help the worker determine if applying for an H-1B visa is right for them.

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Berke Law Offices, Inc.

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Berke Law Offices, Inc.
21911 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303

Phone: 818-647-1002
Phone: 818-647-1002
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