Who Benefits From the H-1B Visa?
The person who benefits the most from the H-1B visa is the foreign worker. However, the employer hiring this person (or multiple people) also receive a return on their investment that makes this visa remain in demand by hundreds of thousands of petitioners each year.
To obtain an approval for an H-1B visa, the employer and foreign worker must have certain qualifications. These requirements are broad enough that it covers a multitude of categories. The worker must have a bachelor’s degree and receive a job offer from a company in the United States that has an open specialty position requiring the foreign worker’s particular knowledge.
The employer can’t extend the job offer officially until it has been approved as a specialty position by the UCSIS. However, even with these limitations, the H-1B visa has the broadest requirements of all visa classifications.
You can still obtain a visa if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree or sufficient experience in a specialty position. Other work visas may be a better fit for your expertise and needs. Your immigration attorney can assist you in determining which forms to complete to receive the applicable visa.
How You’ll Benefit With the H-1B Visa as the Employee
With an H-1B visa, the foreign worker is give a vast assortment of benefits, such as:
● An extended stay in the United States; other visas limit this time to six months or one year, but the H-1B has an initial period of three years with an option to extend the stay.
● H-1B visas are transferable, allowing the employee to change jobs during their stay or work for multiple employers at the same time.
● H-1B visas are applicable to foreign professionals anywhere in the world, whereas other visas are limited to residents of particular countries.
● Family members (spouses and dependents) are included with the H-1B visa if you file for an H4 visa. As long as your H-1B visa is valid, your family members are legally allowed to stay in the U.S., and even work there once they’ve obtained the proper documentation.
One more popular benefit is that H-1B visas are naturally a dual intent document, giving you the chance to pursue permanent residence in the United States while you’re working in the country. Many other visas do not allow this dual purpose.
How You as an Employer Can Benefit From the H-1B Visa
Since the bulk of the expense of an H-1B visa is in the hands of the employer, it stands to reason that companies benefit substantially, as well. The H-1B visa is designed to aid those with coveted educational backgrounds to gain employment in the U.S. These fields are often in high demand with a low supply of residents, so with an H-1B visa, the employer can expand their pool of applicants to the brightest minds in the world.
When your company or industry is deaing with a labor shortage, it’s even more difficult to find qualified workers in the United States. Instead of attempting to relocate people to your job area, the H-1B visa allows you to hire professionals from other countries to fill your specialty position or complete a project. This serves a double purpose of increasing your company’s competitive presence in the industry.
Cautions to Consider Before Applying for the H-1B Visa
As impressive as the H-1B visa can be, it does have disadvantages to consider. Your immigration attorney can aid you as you decide if this document is the best one for your needs.
One downside is that there’s a cap (an annual limit) on how many visas are allowed per year for the broadest categories. If your petition is in an area that is rare and the limit isn’t reached, you don’t have to worry about this part. But if you’re in the general visa qualifications section, you’ll be part of a lottery system that determines your petition’s approval or rejection.
This lottery process means that petitions must abide by strict dates, unable to be filed until April 1. Should your petition get accepted, you can’t begin working until October 1 of that year, and you can’t enter the country until ten days before that.
It’s possible to avoid the lottery process and make your petition cap-exempt if you have a cap-exempt employer, are filing for a transfer, or need an extension on an existing H-1B.
Extensions can be obtained up to a maximum of six years. If you plan on staying longer, consider an E-2, O-1, or TN classification. The E-1 and O-1 visas are also advantageous because they don’t require a job offer as a prerequisite to petition approval.
Dealing with the United States government as a foreign individual is always complicated, no matter which visa path you choose. Navigating immigration law is complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Before you start the process, talk to Visa2US to see how they can help you skip the stress and mistakes, and increase your petition’s approval rate.