The most important thing to know about obtaining employment in the U.S. and obtaining an H-1B work visa is that you should contact an experienced Columbus work visas attorney for sound legal guidance and assistance as you seek to obtain the visa.
U.S.-based employers who act as H-1B visa sponsors – and those who would like to act as sponsors – should also contact an immigration attorney if you require any legal assistance or if you have any questions or concerns regarding the H-1B visa.
EXACTLY WHAT IS AN H-1B VISA?
The H-1B visa is the most widely-used work visa in the U.S. It is a nonimmigrant work visa that allows U.S.-based employers to employ international workers in “specialty” occupations for up to three years. H-1B visas can be extended once for a second three-year period.
The H-1B gives those U.S. employers the opportunity to hire a foreign-born professional for a “specialty” position if a U.S. citizen or resident with the necessary qualifications is not available. Employers and employees must meet a number of requirements in order to obtain an H-1B visa.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BECOME AN H-1B VISA HOLDER?
The H-1B visa is for professionals. Before you can qualify for an H-1B visa, you must have an employment offer from a U.S.-based employer in a specialized field like computer electronics, medical research, engineering, architecture, or a similar industry.
H-1B visa petitions are submitted by employers, not by potential employees. H-1B visa holders must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. The United States approves 65,000 H-1B visas each year; another 20,000 H-1Bs are reserved for international workers with advanced degrees.
WHAT BENEFITS DOES THE H-1B VISA PROVIDE?
The H-1B visa provides a visa holder with a variety of immigration benefits that are not offered by the other nonimmigrant visas. Those immigration benefits are:
- You’ll have the ability to stay in the United States for up to six years.
- You’ll have the ability to transfer your work authorization status to another employer.
- The H-1B visa is accessible. Any foreign national may apply for it.
- The requirements are minimal. You need only a bachelor’s degree and a job offer.
- Your spouse and dependents can accompany you to the U.S. with H-4 visas.
HOW DO YOU SECURE A JOB OFFER IN THE U.S.?
H-1B visa petitions are accepted each year starting on April 1st. Those who are approved and selected for H-1B visas may begin working in the United States the following October.
Employers in the United States want to hire international workers for specialty positions, but how can you find a U.S. employer who will sponsor you? You may not be sure how to find an employer who will make the job offer that is right for you. Here are some tips that may help:
STEP ONE: LOOK ONLINE FOR AN H-1B VISA SPONSOR
You can learn a lot simply by typing certain phrases into a search engine like Google. Use a phrase like “H-1B visa sponsors” or “companies that sponsor H-1B visas.” Be more specific by using phrases like “H-1B visa sponsors in Ohio” or “H-1B visa sponsors in Michigan.”
U.S. job sites like Monster and CareerBuilder may also be helpful. Then, you should compile a list of the U.S.-based companies that you might like to work for that sponsor H-1B visas – and prepare job applications for those employers.
STEP TWO: SEND OUT EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS
The next step is to update your resume, complete the job applications fully and accurately, and send the applications to the companies that you listed in step one above.
After you are offered a job in the United States – not before – make certain that the employer understands that you need H-1B sponsorship so that the company can apply for your visa next April.
The H-1B visas have already been approved for 2019, so right now you will not be able to obtain an H-1B visa before April 1st, 2020 or begin working in the United States before October 1st, 2020.
STEP THREE: CONSIDER AN INTERNSHIP
Another option to consider is an internship. If you are in the United States with an F-1 student visa, and if you want to stay in the U.S. and find employment, try to find an internship at a company that sponsors H-1B visas.
If you can get there, you can also learn about internships at career events and job fairs. In fact, you should be “networking” as much as you can.
Outside of the United States, you should talk to friends and family members. Look for a chance to network with someone who represents a U.S.-based employer. Social media platforms and career platforms like LinkedIn can be helpful for networking.
STEP FOUR: CONSIDER A JOB AT A UNIVERSITY
If you are already in the United States with an H-4 visa or with an F-1 visa, it is good to know that most universities in the U.S. are not covered by the H-1B annual cap restriction. This allows universities to sponsor an unlimited number of H-1B visas.
It is an option that will allow you to continue living in the United States. The disadvantage to this option is that you cannot transfer the H-1B visa from your university job to another employer.
STEP FIVE: LEARN ABOUT CONSULTING COMPANIES
Most consulting companies operate honestly and legally, but you must be careful, because some do not. Some consulting companies may tell you that they will sponsor an H-1B visa – but only if you pay. You need to know that selling or paying for an H-1B visa is a crime in the U.S.
Make a list of the larger, reliable global consulting companies, like TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and Wipro Limited. Then go to their websites, learn what employment is currently available, and apply for the jobs that look right for you.
WHO SPONSORS H-1B VISAS?
Scores of employers in the United States – in virtually every field of employment – are H-1B visa sponsors, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.
Contact an experienced Columbus immigration attorney if you need any legal advice or assistance as you seek employment in the United States. An immigration lawyer’s help is your right.