H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers

The H-1B Visa (or H-1B Status, for those in the U.S.) permits U.S. employers to temporarily employ certain qualifying workers in specialty occupations. H-1B status is generally valid for six years, issued in two three-year terms. Under certain circumstances, an H-1B can be extended beyond six years. The H-1B Visa is subject to an annual numerical cap.

The H-1B is the “workhorse” of the professional U.S. immigration system – permitting U.S. employers to petition for up to 65,000 specialty workers per fiscal year. Certain workers are exempt from the annual cap, including: 20,000 workers receiving master’s (or higher) degrees from U.S. universities, and employees petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities, a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization. The H-1B program is extremely popular, and in recent Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposals in Congress, an increase to 180,000 annual H-1Bs has been discussed.


Related Posts