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The List of Important H1B Visa Requirements
March 25, 2022
5 mins
A banner depicting H1B Visa Requirements as stated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services on the background of the US flag.

In this article, you will learn about everything required for an H1B eligibility:

"What do I need to get my H1B visa?" This is the first question on the minds of tens of thousands of foreigners wishing to find employment in the USA. The H1B visa is the ticket to working in specialty occupations for employers in the US. Issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the H1B visa allows anyone with a bachelor's or master's degree to work in the US and eventually even settle here as US citizens.

If you are among thousands of aspirants looking to know more about the H1B visa program, this guide will give you all the information you need. Shall we unpack the details?

Before looking into the requirements for H1B, familiarize yourself all about H1B Visa.

What are the Requirements for H1B Visa Eligibility?

The H1B visa is the most popular non-immigrant visa specifically issued for foreigners willing to work in specialty occupations for US-based employers. Aspiring applicants must have the theoretical and practical knowledge to fulfill the job requirements that a US-based employee cannot otherwise fulfill.

The US-based employer sponsors the H1B on behalf of their prospective foreign employees. This is the first and foremost H1B eligibility criteria that you must fulfill. In other words, you must find an employer in the US who is willing to sponsor your H1B visa. Achieving this criterion is no mean feat because of the:

  • Fierce competition for US-based job vacancies
  • Rising demand to enter the US
  • Limit on H1B visas granted each year

As per the USCIS rules, you CANNOT sponsor your own visa. All H1B visas are employer-sponsored, which means that only US employers can file an H1B petition on behalf of their employees. So, who is eligible for H1B visa? To be eligible, there are other criteria that you and your prospective employer need to fulfill. Let's check them out.

Educational Requirements

One of the basic H1B visa criteria is your education. To work in the US with an H1B visa, you need to have:

  • A four-year bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree
  • A master's or a doctoral degree
  • Advanced training or vocational skills to excel in your specialty occupation.
  • Qualifications for work on US Department of Defense research and development projects.
  • Unrestricted state license, certification, or authorization to practice the specialty occupation
  • Expertise recognition in the specialty through progressively responsible positions related to the specialty

Age Limit & Specialty Occupations for H1b Visa

There is no age limit for H1B visa. You can apply even if you're older than retirement age. However, if you bring your family members, please note that your children must be under 21 years of age. As per the USCIS rules, your spouse and children can stay in the United States under the H4 category for the same duration as the H1B status.

Specialty Occupation

H1B visa is created for workers in specialty occupations, employees qualified for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) jobs. Apart from STEM, there are several other categories that qualify under the umbrella term "specialty occupations." They include:

  • Accountants
  • Financial analysts
  • Engineers
  • Doctors
  • Attorneys
  • Registered nurses
  • Management consultants
  • Architects
  • Healthcare workers
  • Professors
  • Teachers
  • IT Professionals
  • Business or sales managers
  • Psychologists
  • Foreign law advisors
  • Dentists
  • Journalists
  • Editors
  • Scientists
  • Technical publications writers
  • Market research analysts
  • Systems analysts
  • Surgeons

You can apply for these specialty occupations under the H-1B visa, but this is only a sample list. In general, you will be able to apply for any position as long as it meets the specialty occupation requirements. What are those specialty occupation requirements?

To qualify as a specialty occupation, the job offered to you by your US-based employer must tick the following criteria:

  • Bachelor's degree or its equivalent as an entry requirement.
  • The job is so complex or unique that only individuals with degrees can perform the job. ( You can skip this requirement if you have at least twelve years of work experience.)
  • Employers usually require degrees for job positions.
  • Specialized and complex nature of these duties requires a bachelor's or higher degree to perform them.

Also Read: H-1B Visa – Procedures & Requirements Explained

Applying for the H1B Visa: When To Do It & What You Will Need

Although your employer can file your H1B petition, applications for the visa can be made by registrants selected in the initial registration process. If you are lucky enough to be selected by the USCIS in this initial selection process, you will have a 90-day window to submit your full petition.

Please note that mere selection in the registration process does not guarantee an H1B visa. It only takes your application to the next stage.

Please note the timelines for the Fiscal Year 2023 as given by the USCIS:

Initial registration window opens on March 1st, 2022, upto March 18th, 2022.
H1B lottery selection: From March 18th, 2022 to March 31st, 2022
USCIS accepts employer petitions: From April 1st, 2022All employers have 90 days to file their petitions.

For more details about the H1B application process, please swing by here.

H1B Visa Fee Costs

As far as the H1B is concerned, you are only responsible for paying the fee when you collect your visa at the local US Embassy or Consulate. It also includes the fees for any dependents applying for the same. Your employer bears all other H1B-related costs. It includes:

Registration fee $10
Fee for filing Form I-129 $460
Public law 114-113 fee $4000
Premium processing fee (optional) $ 2,500
ACWIA training and education fee $750 (if fewer than 25 employees)
$1500 ( if more than 25 employees)
USCIS Anti-Fraud Fee $500

Also, read on to know What you Need to Pay to Obtain Your H1B Visa

Documents required for H1B

Once your employer has paid the required fees, they will ask you to submit the following documents:

  1. Your current passport
  2. Photocopy of your current passport pages
  3. Copy of Form I-797
  4. All old passports
  5. Educational certifications
  6. Letter from the employer with the job description

Please check our document list for detailed information about all the required documents.

The Finale

U.S. immigration policy and law pay close attention to the effects of foreigners on the jobs of American workers. Therefore, employers and employees who petition for an H1B visa need to comply with the rules and regulations prescribed by USCIS and the US Department of Labor.

You have already conquered the toughest part of the process if you have:

  • A skill set or experience that would be valuable in an American workplace
  • An employer willing to consider you for their team

Would you like to know more about the requirements for an H1B visa? Visit TechFetch H1B to gain insight about H1B Visa.

**Disclaimer: All H1B visa-related information is subject to change. Kindly refer to the USCIS website for the latest updates.**

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Article by Techfetch H1B team

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