An H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa is a work visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ non-citizen/non-Green Card-holding foreign workers in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation is defined as work that requires the application of highly specialized knowledge, including but not limited to practices in the fields of science, art, medicine, education, law, accounting, business, and theology. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent (with certain exceptions) and any applicable state licenses are also required.
Since there is an annual 65,000 Congressional mandated cap on H-1B visas with the exemption of the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals holding a U.S. Master’s degree or higher, this cap can be easily reached within the first week of the filing period. USCIS usually expects to receive more petitions than the H-1B cap during the first five business days of the filing period. The first day of the filing period is April 1st although the earliest start work date will not be until October 1st.
The good news is that there are several H-1B visa categories that are not subject to the annual quota. If you are considering filing for an H-1B petition and wish to know whether your H-1B petition will be subject to the annual quota, please contact our office at (626) 626-7789 to schedule an initial consultation with our attorney.