An H1 visa qualifies an individual to work in the U.S. in any job considered as a specialty occupation in fields such as engineering, architecture, health and medicine, arts, mathematics, biotechnology and social sciences, to name a few.
The work is temporary and the visa itself is a non-immigrant type. To facilitate a smooth application, it is a good idea for applicants to be aware of H1 visa time requirements in order to qualify for the 2014 batch.
How Does an H1 Visa Work?
An H1 visa allows an individual to work in the U.S. for 3 years, although his or her stay may be extended to six years, depending on certain circumstances. There are two ways a U.S. employer may file the application: Regular Processing or Premium Processing.
Premium processing is the shorter route, where processing of application can be as short as 15 days or as long as a few months. It does, however, cost more. Regular processing can take from 1 to 6 months to complete but is cheaper.
When to Apply in 2014
The date for applications in 2014 has not yet been announced, but as a guideline, applications for H1 visas were being accepted starting April 15 this year. A general cap of 65,000 and an advanced degree cap of 20,000 has been imposed.
Ideally, it is a good idea to begin searching for an employer who can file the petition for you months before the USCIS begins accepting applications. This will help a great deal in finding the best company that can offer you the best employment solution that matches your qualifications and needs.
During this time, it is a good idea to gather all the necessary documents that can be used to support your bid for employment, such as professional resumes, school records, licenses, certifications and letters from employers. It is also advised to get in contact with a qualified H-1b visa lawyer to help iron out the necessary details.
You will have to send these documents to your H1 employer so they can file for the Labor Condition Application or LCA. Upon receipt of the documents, the USCIS will evaluate the documents and notify the sponsoring company if the application has been approved or not.
If approved, the USCIS will then issue Form I-797, which is the notice of approval to the sponsor. You can then apply for a visa at your country’s consulate or with an immigration lawyer so you will be allowed to enter the U.S. and begin working!
If you need more help, check out our full guide to the H1 Visa.