The H-1B visa: Facts, requirements, processes
If you have a college education and a sponsor in the United States, you may qualify for this visa. American Immigration permits this type of specialty occupation work visas. It can be approved in as fast as two to three months. This visa is usually issued for a period of three years. Should you decide to stay longer, it can be extended for another 3 years. H-1B Visas have a considerably high amount of filing fees. This was made partially as a way to avoid having to do the H-1B in the first place and hiring an American Citizen, and also as a way of collecting funds to help in other parts of Immigration.
There are a limited number of these visas per year, and therefore, if you have a sponsor, you should get started right away. As a sponsor, you must pay the prevailing wage to the employee. The prevailing wage is the wage that prevails generally and is the normal wage for that type of position. When the H-1B is being prepared, the government will let us know what is the prevailing wage. Either way, if your going to do an H-1B, it must be done with the knowledge that the filing fees will be rather high.
“There are a very limited amount of H-1B’s per year. Therefore, you must prepare and file in the proper time (mid March) to even have a chance at getting chosen by USCIS..”— Brian D. Lerner, H-1B Lawyer
If you later decide you want a green card, you can apply for ‘Labor Certification’ while you have your Specialty Occupation Visa. Your spouse and children can come to the U.S. once you are approved. Additionally, your children can go to school without any problem. If your H-1B is ending, you can file a B-2 change of status.
Many people believe that once they get the H-1B, that they can simply go to any other employer and start working. This would not be true. If you leave the current employer and/or ‘transfer’ to another employer, you must get authorization from USCIS and you must submit the proper petition
As noted, there is no prohibition on a startup company doing an H-1B. However, it is more difficult. There needs to be charts, explanations, declarations and evidence how the company can both survive and pay the prevailing wage to the intended beneficiary.
Note that the H-1B is not self-petitioned. It must be from a company that is in existence. Normally it would not be a new company, although regulations do not prohibit that.
The H-1B is for people who have a college degree and the college degree is required for the position and normal for the position. There are about 65,000 per year. However, some of those are used by Chile and some by Singapore. There is another 20,000 for persons with Master’s Degrees.