An H1B visa is a temporary work visa for foreign workers with a job offer in a specialty occupation in the US. The US immigration legislation caps the number of H1B visas issued to 65,000 per fiscal year (from October 1 to September 30).

H1B Visa Requirements

To qualify for an H1B visa to work in the US, a foreign worker must have a temporary offer of employment in a specialty occupation from a US employer.

A specialty occupation is an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge that usually requires the equivalent of at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. Typical specialty occupation fields include architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, medicine, health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology and the arts. Fashion models of distinguished merit and ability may also qualify for an H1B visa.

H1B visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

H1B Visa Entitlements

An H1B visa entitles the holder to live and work in the US temporarily. An H1B visa is usually granted for an initial period of 3 years and extensions may be granted. Foreign workers with an H1B visa are permitted dual intent, meaning the applicant can maintain H1B visa status while applying for a Green Card to remain in the US permanently.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (H4 visa) to join their spouse or parent in the US. Accompanying spouses and children are entitled to study in the United States but are not entitled to undertake any employment without obtaining an appropriate work visa.