This category is for U.S. companies that want to employ foreign nationals in specialty (professional) occupations. The beneficiary must have a Bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Beneficiaries without degrees may qualify if they have the required experience, which is 3 years of progressive experience for every 1 year of university that she lacks. TIP: Experience MUST be progressive in order to qualify--a person could have 20 years of experience but still not have the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree if that experience was stagnant and did not grow in terms of new duties and skills.
WHO FILES THE APPLICATION/PETITION?
The company, through an attorney, submits a petition to the appropriate CIS Service Center in the U.S. (When the petition is approved, the foreign national, if outside the U.S., goes to the consulate for the approval of the travel visa so that s/he may enter the U.S.)
HOW LONG DOES PROCESSING TAKE?
Service Centers are currently taking 2-3 months to approve H-1B petitions. The individual's visa application at the consulate takes between one and three days, depending on the location.
The job must require a Bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement. It is not enough that a person possess a degree, the job must require it. Example: A person in a receptionist position may have a degree, but he will not qualify for an H-1B, because that position does not require a degree in order to perform the duties. In other areas, we have successfully obtained approvals for Social Workers, Brain Injury Specialists, & Pre School Teachers, though CIS initially questioned whether those occupations were H-1B eligible. A labor condition application must be approved by the DOL before you can submit a petition to CIS. Payment of Prevailing Wage is required. Maximum duration is six years, with some extensions possible if in the permanent process.
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