H-1B Visa – Professionals Visa

A person must show that they will be working in a “specialty occupation”.

A Specialty Occupation

“Specialty occupation” is defined in the statute as ” An occupation that requires:

A) Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and

B) Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States”.

To meet the requirements of a specialty occupation, the alien will need:

  1. Full state licensure, if that is required to perform that job in the state;
  2. Completion of a “bachelor’s degree required for the position; or
  3. Experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree, and recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty.

A “specialty occupation” includes the definition of “professional.”  The position offered must require a professional to perform the duties.  The job would require knowledge which is almost always acquired through studies at an institution of higher learning.

A person who has a combination of education and experience may qualify as a professional.

Experience alone must combine both theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge.

This is a temporary visa. 

The employer must first obtain certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA: this is different than a labor certification) from the Department of Labor before filing the petition for the H-1B classification with the INS.

The LCA ensures that the U.S. workers will not be adversely affected by the U.S. employer hiring a foreign worker.

If the foreign worker changes employers, it will be necessary to apply for another H-1B visa.  The visa is non-transferrable.  It is possible to work part-time for multiple employers but separate petitions must be filed by each employer.

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