H-1B Work Visa


H-1B work visa for professionals - Miami immigration lawyer Oleg Otten

What is an H-1B work visa?

H-1B is a specialty occupation visa. It’s one of the most popular American visas. H-1B work visa is a dual intent visa, meaning it doesn’t require absence of immigrant intent, as is the case with, for instance, B1/B2 visitor or F-1 student visas.

In some cases, it may be possible to get a B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa. It is used to perform short-term services in an emergency, for example, to fill a position while a permanent employee is on a maternity leave. B-1 in lieu of H-1B  is very difficult to get.

For how long is H1B visa granted?

Normally, H-1B visa may last for up to six years (first visa is for three years, and then extended for another three years). It is a date-specific visa, meaning that when it expires, that’s it.

How many H1B work visas are available each year?

Only 65,000 visas available per year, plus additional 20,000 visas available for Master’s degree graduates from the US universities.

When should I apply for the work visa?

The USCIS opens the gate to receiving H-1B application on April 1 (or a day or two later, depending on weekends and holidays), and keeps them open for five business days. In recent years, USCIS would receive more applications in these five days than available visas, so the government would stop accepting any additional applications after that, while the accepted applications are placed in a lottery.

What is the H1B visa lottery?

Congress limited the number of H-1B work visas, so when more people apply than there are visas available, the USCIS conducts a lottery. Except for periods of economic recession, H-1B work visas always had a lottery. You must apply in the first few days of April to have chances to get an H-1B work visa. Hiring an experienced immigration lawyer is crucial to maximize your chances for success in obtaining an H-1B work visa.

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Miami H-1B work visa lawyer Oleg Otten