One of the most pursued visas that foreigners seek is the H-1B visa. Workers that hold this visa will use this opportunity to advance their career in the United States and earn more money than if they stayed in their native country. The requirements to qualify for an H-1B visa is intended for those that can demonstrate a high degree of professional-level job skill. Continue reading to learn more about who is eligible for an H-1B visa to help you decide whether to pursue this type of visa.

Eligibility Requirements For H-1B Visa

H-1B visas are issued to foreigners in a specialty occupation, which is defined as one that requires the practical and theoretical application of a highly specialized body of knowledge, and a bachelor’s or other higher degree attainment or its equivalency is the minimum necessary for entry to hold the occupation in the U.S.

Several forms of documented proof must be submitted when an employer files a petition requesting an H-1B visa be approved for the foreigner they wish to hire. U.S. employers must prove that the job they wish to fill with a foreign-born national qualifies under the regulations of the H-1B visa. Employers prove this through validating that the position meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • The normal minimum requirement to enter the position is a bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent.
  • Parallel positions held in a similar organization in the industry have the same degree requirement; otherwise, an employer can show that the complexities or uniqueness of the position requires that the person performing the work has the degree.
  • It is normal for the employer to require a degree or its equivalent for the position, or the specific duties are so complex or specialized that the individuals that perform these duties are associated with the baccalaureate or higher degree attainment.

Certain Job Requirements Include A Bachelor’s Degree Or Equivalent Experience

A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in experience is required for jobs that are classified as a specialty occupation. More information about specialty occupations can be found on the UCIS website. The positions that could qualify for this classification include:

  • Doctors
  • Engineers
  • Managers
  • Analysts
  • Business Managers
  • Artists
  • Entertainers
  • Scientists
  • Dentists
  • Journalists and editors
  • University professors and teachers
  • IT and computer professionals
  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Architects
  • Health care professionals such as nurses
  • Financial managers
  • Technicians

Hold Experience in Education

Showing proof that the position requires a bachelor’s or higher degree isn’t enough, however. An employer must demonstrate proof that there is a connection between the specialty occupation and the degree. Evidence that supports this claim can include the following:

  • A written explanation from experts in the field that holds the opinion that the degree and occupation are related
  • Proof that similar companies or industries have similar degree requirements for similar positions
  • Printouts from online resources that present descriptions of how the occupation is associated with the degree
  • An explanation of how the degree is related to the position (this must include specific references to the skills that were taught in the pursuit of the degree that enables one to perform the position’s duties)
  • A thorough explanation of the specific duties performed by the position, the specialized skills required to perform the job, and the position’s complex nature

The employer will submit this evidence that demonstrates the foreigner meets the requirements of the H-1B visa to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The more documentation provided to support the relationship between the degree attainment and occupation, the more likely it is that the request will be processed in their favor.

Have The Proper License For Teaching

Primary, secondary, and college teachers have a viable option in the H-1B visa class to work temporarily in the U.S. The requirements to qualify for an H-1B visa as a teacher are unique.

A foreigner must obtain the required licenses or permission to work in the educational sector. For example, to teach elementary education, you must have a state teacher certification that demonstrates you have completed all the specific criteria necessary to teach in that given area. They must be able to demonstrate that they meet all the conditions to obtain the licensing if the license is not obtained before entering the country.

It’s worth noting that for a teaching position, it’s not always necessary to have gained a bachelor’s degree or higher to qualify for an H-1B visa. The degree attainment is not necessarily the same for an elementary school teacher as it is for one that teaches at an institution. These exceptions should be discussed with an attorney for specifics about teachers in a specific district.

Speak With Knowledgeable Immigration Attorneys

For more information about H-1B visas or any other immigration matter, get in touch with Pride Immigration. We are here to assist you with all your questions and walk you through the proper steps in the H1-B visa process. Call our office at (703) 594-4040 or contact us online today.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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