H-1B Visas for Specialty Workers

H-1B Visas for Specialty Workers

Overview of the H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa for individuals who will be employed in a specialty occupation requiring specialized knowledge and skills. This visa enables the temporary worker to live and work in the U.S. for an initial period of up to three years. The visa can also be extended beyond the initial period for an additional three years. One of the things that make the H-1B visa so desirable is that, unlike most other non-immigrant visas, it is a “dual-intent” visa, and may provide a pathway to permanent residency.


Qualifying for the H-1B Visa

To qualify for an H-1B visa for temporary specialty workers, the sponsoring employer and prospective employee must meet specific requirements:

  • The foreign national must have a job offer from a U.S. employer for work to be performed in the U.S.
  • The foreign national must be coming to the U.S. to perform services in a “specialty occupation,”– meaning one that requires “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge,” and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty or its equivalent in work experience
  • The employer must be offering the foreign national at least the prevailing wage that is paid in the same geographic area for the same type of position (or the actual wage paid to similar workers at that employer (whichever is the higher of the two)
  • The foreign national must have the correct background to qualify for the job he/she has been offered
  • The Employer must have filed a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor before the employer can proceed with the visa application


To learn more about your options contact our San Francisco law firm to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.