An H-1B nonimmigrant visa is a temporary visa for professional workers in specialty occupations that normally require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent as a minimum requirement.. 

WHAT IS A SPECIALTY OCCUPATION?

A “specialty occupation” is defined as “an occupation that requires (a) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and (b) attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”

To establish that a job qualifies as a specialty occupation under USCIS regulations, one or more of the following criteria must be met:

  • A bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent that is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position; the required degree must be related to the position to be filled.
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry, or in the alternative, the position is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment

Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty. If the applicant does not possess a bachelor’s or higher degree, he or she may qualify for an H-1B visa based on experience that is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. The beneficiary must demonstrate recognition of his or her expertise gained through “progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty”. Documentation of recognition could include letters from previous employers, peers and special honors recognition, or authorship of textbooks. With the “three-for-one” rule, three years of specialized training and/or work experience may be substituted for each year of college-level education that the beneficiary lacks.

To sponsor an employee for H-1B visa:

  1. The employer shall first file for Labor Certification which takes about seven days for certification;
  2. Upon certification of the LCA, the employer shall filed form I-129 and supporting evidence with USCIS. 

 

For further question regarding how best present your H-1B petition, please contact this office for a valuable consultation.