What is an H-1B Visa?

If you are an immigrant who has come to the United States to go to school, and you wish to pursue higher academics and a career in academia, you might be wondering about your visa options. One of your best options is an H-1B Visa for Academics. There are, however, specific requirements that must be met and, of course, procedural hoops to jump through. At NPZ Law Group, we can assess whether an H-1B visa is right for you and help you through the process of attaining it.

What is an H-1B Visa?

An H-1B Visa for Academics is an employer-sponsored visa. It is for non-citizens or permanent residents of the United States who wish to work in a specialized occupation for up to 6 years. There are exceptions to this, but they are limited. A specialty occupation is one that requires a specialized skill and knowledge set. It also requires that the employee has a bachelor’s degree, at a minimum, in the specialized area. These types of visas are especially utilized among professionals in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Additionally, it is among the most common visa utilized for tenure track university professor positions.

If you are in the midst of looking for and accepting a position as a university professor, an H-1B visa may suit your needs and you may qualify for this visa type. The good news is that, while for-profit companies are limited to an annual cap on the number of H-1B visas made available to them by Congress, universities and institutions of higher education are exempt from this limit. Additionally, H-1B puts you on-track to a green card and permanent residency because of its nature as a “dunc intent” visa. It is a great visa for tenured-track positions as you are set to be employed by the university for an indefinite period of time. With an H-1B visa, you cannot change your employer. If you do wish to changes employers, you would need to apply for a new H-1B nonimmigrant work visa.

If you are eligible, your employer must apply for the H-1B visa on your behalf through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your employer will be required to pay you the prevailing wage or the actual wage of the position, whichever one is higher. The prevailing wage is considered to be the wage that an employer pays employees in similar occupations at the intended location of employment. The initial visa is valid for 3 years with an option to extend it for another 3 years. After 6 years, you would have to leave the U.S. for 1 year before applying for a new H-1B visa unless you can take advantage of the provisions of AC-21 which allow for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit in certain special cases.

We Help Get the Right Visa for You.
Visa types widely vary and depend on your particular circumstances. It can be difficult trying to figure out which type of visa will work for you wihout an initial consultation. At Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak Law Group, we are here to find the right fit for you. We will explore all available visa options for you and help you through the entire process.

For more information about the H-1B non-immigrant visa classification, please feel free to reach out to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group at info@visaserve.com In the alternative, please visit our website at https://www.visaserve.com or call us at 201-670-0006 (ext. 107).