H1B Visa is non-immigrant temporary work visa. Employers in U.S.A. can hire foreign workers who meet minimum requirements set by United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Minimum Requirements are further divided into two categories
- Employer Job Requirements
- Employee Requirements
Employer's job requirements should must Bachelors degree or higher. Employee should have completed at least Bachelor degree in U.S. or equivalent foreign degree.
Students can apply for specialty occupations. If student is hired, employer will typically apply for H1B Visa. Application process for the employer will be usually handled by Employer's Immigration attorney.
Before applying for H1B Visa, one has to ensure H1B quota is still available. USCIS have total of 65,000 H1B Cap under General category and 20,000 exclusive for students who obtained Masters or higher degree from U.S. Universities.
USCIS accepts H1B visa application starting April 1st every year for the next Fiscal Year. It will take 15 days to few months for USCIS to approve the H1B Visa application. Fiscal year for USCIS started October 1 of each year and runs till September 30 of next year.
Student can start working for the employer with approved Employment Authorization Card. Visa application can be then submitted to USCIS. After H1B approval, F1 status will change to H1B from the start date in approval document.
In most cases, it's not required to get H1B Visa stamping to start working, if the student is already residing in U.S.A.
Visit Happy Schools Blog to know if USCIS is still accepting H1B Visa 2011 applications and why it takes over 4 months get approval notice.