Boosting Your Chances at Obtaining an H-1B Visa

Are you a foreign national longing to work in the United States but you are doubtful on how to obtain work authorization or even find a job with a U.S. employer?

Am I Eligible for an H-1B Employment Visa to Work in the U.S?

To become eligible for an H-1B visa, you must have an offer of employment for a temporary period of time from a U.S. employer. The job offer must be for a role that requires specialty knowledge for a specialty occupation. As soon as you have your job offer, your employer can start the job application process by filing a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

USCIS looks at a couple criterias to decide whether a job applicant qualifies as a specialty occupation and they are:

  • A bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is usually the minimum requirement for the position
  • The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry among other organizations, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be done by a person with a degree or higher

In practice, USCIS frequently asks questions about whether an employer’s proposed job qualifies as a specialty occupation. If the job being offered to you is in the medical, research, scientific or engineering professions, it should be easier to prove that it is in a specialty occupation. However, if your job is in a different field such as information technology (IT), restaurant management/food service, or retail, you might have to provide significant evidence to establish that your job qualifies as a specialty occupation.

Additionally, as the H-1B prospective employee you must show evidence that you possess a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent in a directly related field of study. If you received your bachelor’s degree in the U.S. your employer will need to explain how your studies are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Substantial Evidence Will be Needed if You Obtained a Degree at a Foreign University

If your degree is from a university overseas, you will need a credentials evaluation. There are several companies that offer the credentials evaluation service. The company reviews transcripts, degree programs, including the courses that are taken at the university you attended. Through the information obtained it will be determined whether the degree is equal to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The company will provide you with a detailed report explaining how the degree is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree, which can then be used as evidence for educational credentials.

Work Experience Can Be Substituted for an Academic Degree

Regardless of having a bachelor’s degree or not you might still be eligible for an H-1B visa. U.S. immigration may substitute work experience instead of a bachelor’s degree to prove that you qualify for the job offered.

As a common rule, USCIS views three years of work experience as equivalent to one year of degree coursework. So, you will more than likely need to demonstrate that you have 12 years of work experience if you do not have a U.S. bachelor’s degree.

If I Apply for an H-1B Visa What Kind of Job Must I Look For?

When conducting a job search it is advisable that the job position you are seeking is one that is relevant to your degree/coursework/previous work experience. USCIS might, for example, question the H-1B Application if your degree is in Computer Science but the job offer is that of a restaurant chef. In such a situation, USCIS might not consider the prospective job and might deny the application. To avoid a mishap, it is best to find a job in the field your degree is in.

Reach Out to An Immigration Attorney

Seeking employment in the U.S. and applying for an H-1B Visa will require the help of an experienced immigration lawyer especially if you have no clue where to start. Contact Gambacorta Law Office at 847 908 4913.