Where a U.S. employer petitions on behalf of an individual to be employed in a specialty occupation. The intended employee must have a bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in the specific specialty for which employment authorization is sought.
A specialty occupation is defined as a theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge. There is a cap on the number of H-1B visas each year, which is currently set at 65,000, per fiscal year. A further 20,000 are available to those who have a U.S. advanced degree.
Bachelor's Degree, or equivalent, that relates to the job being offered;
If the intended employee does not have a degree, substantial and relevant work experience may qualify as an equivalent;
The company must pay the prevailing wage, as determined by the Department of Labor;
A clear employer / employee relationship
USCIS accepts applications each fiscal year, starting 1st April, which allows the employee to commence employment on 1st October that same year. Due to the demand and lack of supply of this type of visa, there is no guarantee of a successful outcome. Each year the cap is reached at different times and may go to a lottery.
Filing for the next fiscal year commences on 1st April 2018. It expected that the cap will met within the first couple of weeks and that it will go to a lottery, as it did last year.
In addition to the H1-B visa, there are other visa options. Please schedule a consultation with an attorney regarding your options.
Visa duration and H-4 Visas (Spouses & Children)
The maximum duration on an H1-B visa is 6 years. Spouses and children under the age of 21 may enter the U.S. on an H-4 visa. This visa currently does not allow spouses to gain employment authorization unless the employer files for the employee's permanent residency (green card).