The Importance of Scholars as H-1B Foreign Workers

The H-1B visa encompasses a variety of “specialty occupations,” each one vital to the US economy in its own way. One of those categories includes scholars, but to be classified as a scholar by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a foreign worker must meet strict criteria. This guide reviews the key factors one should have to reach the threshold to obtain a scholarly H-1B visa.

An Overview of the H-1B Visa Program

Some positions in certain industries are crucial to the overall economy but require particularly complex skills. Those positions are notoriously difficult to fill. The US has developed a program called the H-1B visa to help employers hire foreign workers with the necessary skills when a native worker is unavailable.

These roles fall under the term “specialty occupation.” Jobs that meet this label require the following:

●     The practical and theoretical application of specialized knowledge in a particular body of study, and

●     The visa holder is to have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher in a field related to that study or an equivalent area.

In addition to these requirements, the petitioner must have an active job offer from an employer willing to sponsor them for their visa. The employer pays the fees for the petition, and the employer must work for them in the documented and approved position when they enter the United States. A transfer to another position or employer is allowed but must be approved through the proper paperwork and channels at USCIS.

Why Scholarly Foreign Workers Are Essential

Individuals with the skills to enter the US as scholarly non-immigrant workers are filling vital positions that would otherwise remain empty. These positions include research, instructing future generations, and leadership. 

When employers correctly use the H-1B scholarly visa, foreign workers with scholarly backgrounds create more jobs for native citizens. They allow instructional and research institutions to offer more courses, expand departments, and delve deeper into fields of study that enhance our current knowledge of crucial topics.

H-1B Scholarly Positions

Entering the US through a scholarly position can take one of two routes of employment: through a cap employer or a cap-exempt employer. This label significantly affects your H-1B visa petition’s potential for approval.

Cap positions must go through a lottery process before they are approved. A limited number of petitions in this category are allowed, and you have strict timelines to follow regarding when you can apply and begin working in the US.

Cap-exempt positions include institutions of higher education, certain non-profit organizations, and research positions affiliated with these organizations. Should your position fit the cap-exempt category, you do not need to go through the lottery process, and you may enter the country and begin employment without date restrictions.

What’s Next?

Although scholarly workers are necessary and in demand, providing sufficient evidence to meet USCIS’s requirements for this visa is challenging. Employers and visa petitioners who work with immigration attorneys like Visa2US are more likely to achieve the necessary results and obtain visa approval.

If you’re considering hiring a foreign worker or accepting a job offer from a US employer, contact Visa2US today. We’ll guide you on this new path, explain your options, determine if the job fits the cap-exempt criteria, and help you streamline the H-1B scholarly visa process.

Our professionals are available 24/7 and ready to answer your questions online or over the phone. Reach out today, and get the answers you need to take the next step in your career.


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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.