How Do I Qualify for an H-1B Visa?

The H-1B visa can be an excellent tool for someone looking to immigrate to the United States. If you are looking into the H-1B visa, then you should be aware of some of the eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for an H-1B visa, you first must have received a job offer from a U.S. employer, and the duties for the job they offered you must be performed within the borders of the U.S. In addition, the following are required:

  • The services you will provide your employer must be of a specialized nature, and you must already have either a college degree or work experience that equals one. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, such as performing duties as a distinguished fashion model.
  • The wages offered to you by your potential employer must be at least equal to the wages currently being offered to employees of other companies in the same geographic area (or what the company is currently paying to its own employees in that same area).
  • Your background adequately matches the requirements for the job.
  • The employer has already filed a form with the U.S. Department of Labor called a Labor Condition Application on your behalf.
In addition to those criteria, the job you were offered has to meet the following requirements:
  • The position you were offered has to require at least a bachelor’s degree or a similar amount of work experience. It is worth noting that an employer cannot simply require a bachelor’s degree for a position where the work does not require it; the work you will be doing at the position must require a bachelor’s degree, or similar employees in that geographic area must also be required to have bachelor’s degrees. The employer must currently require a degree or equal experience from all employees for the same exact position you are being offered.
  • The inherent job duties must be complicated and highly specialized, requiring knowledge that could only be obtained through a bachelor’s degree (or higher) studies.

Unfortunately, not every bachelor’s degree is treated the same way. The USCIS does not treat general business degrees or liberal arts degrees as specialized enough to qualify for an H-1B visa, so you may experience difficulties being approved for one. Your academic credentials need to perfectly fit in with the job that is being offered to you.

It is also worth noting that if current employees in the geographic area of the job are required to have a particular license or certification, then you will also be required to have that same license, on top of the academic credentials. For fashion models, you must show that you are recognized nationally or internationally for your achievements, and are being offered a position requiring a model of your stature.

For more information on H-1B visas, and their requirements, please speak with an experienced immigration attorney today.