How Does The H-1B Visa Lottery Work?

The H-1B visa — also known as an employment-based, non-immigrant visa — allows foreign national employees of U.S. based organizations to live and work in the country. Now that the H-1B visa lottery is in full swing, here’s what you need to know if you plan to work in the United States over the course of this fiscal year.

The H-1B Visa Cap

With only 65,000 H-1B visas available each fiscal year, foreign nationals and their employers should begin the application process as soon as they know that they are planning to work in the United States. H-1B visa holders who are married and have children may be permitted to have family members accompany them while they work in the United States. To be eligible, family members must apply for an H-4 visa at a U.S. consulate in their country of origin.

Special Provisions for Advanced Degree Holders

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sets aside 20,000 additional H-1B visas for applicants who have earned advanced degrees from a university within the United States.

Who is Eligible to Apply for an H-1B Visa

Foreign nationals who wish to work in the United States must be sponsored by their employer and cannot apply for an H-1B visa on their own volition. To be eligible for an H-1B visa, the applicant must meet the following two requirements:

  • Hold a specialty occupation with a minimum education level of a bachelors degree.
  • Have an established employer-employee relationship.

H-1B visa holders often work in the following common professions:

  • Computer science
  • Architecture
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • All other occupations that require a bachelor’s degree

The H-1B process can be complicated without the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney. If you are a foreign national or employer that needs help with obtaining an H-1B visa for your employees, we can help. Contact Yekrangi & Associates at (949) 478-4963 today to learn more about how we can provide assistance with all of your business and employment immigration needs.

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