The H-1B visa is a temporary visa that allows a business to employ a foreign worker for up to 6 years. The initial visa is approved for 3 years with the option of extending the H-1B an additional year for up to 3 years. Businesses typically recruit new graduates out of college and apply for them to work at their company. The H-1B has 2 different categories, which are:
- Standard H-1B category - This category includes jobs that require a bachelor's degree or less. There is a limited number of visas available in this category, and the amount of applications typically reaches the maximum number of applications allowable within the first week of the H-1B season.
- The Master's H-1B Category - This category is for positions that require a master's degree. There
are typically less applications for this category, but the amount of applications still tends to exceed the amount
of available H-1B visas in the master's category within the first week.
The H-1B application period begins on April 1st of each year. The visa will be issued starting on October 1st of the same year. After all the applications are received, there will be a lottery for all of the applications that are received. The H-1B application process has two steps that need to be completed:
- 1. Labor Category Application - This application is submitted to the Department of Labor. The EIN number of the business must first be verified with the DOL before this application can be submitted. The application will be used to determine what labor category the H-1B position will fall into. This will instruct the business on how much they need to pay their H-1B applicant.
- 2. The H-1B Application with USCIS - This application will include the LCA that is issued for the position and information about the foreign worker who will be working in the position. This is filed with USCIS, who will decide on the application if the applicant is chosen from the H-1B lottery.