H-1B Visa Summary

The H-1B Visa Summary

The following are the major characteristics involved with the H-1B visa system.

  • The visa is a work permit to the United States for professionals from all over the globe;
  • The primary agency is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services under the Department of Homeland Security. The USCIS is responsible for the issuance of all the visas, such as the H-1B;
  • The following dates were reported as the dates quotas for the visa were fulfilled:
    • For 2006, August 11, 2005 was the date the quota for visas were satisfied;
    • For 2007, May 26, 2006 was the date the quota for visas were satisfied;
    • For 2008, April 2, 2007 was the date the quota for visas were satisfied;
  • If the H-1B visa applicant is a Masteral degree holder or higher from a United States educational institution, then the individual degree holder is qualified for any of the 20,000 H-1B visas reserved for individual’s achieving that level of education. This is called the Advanced Degree Exception category which is over and above the 65,000 standard H-1B visas;
  • Of the 65,000 H-1B visas, each country from a specific list are given priority and quotas in accordance with entered treaties with the United States;
  • The H-1B visa is the most sought after work visa to the United States for foreigners who wish to live and work in the country;
  • An H-1B visa is valid for up to six (6) years and allows the spouse and children to accompany the visa holder to live in the United States;
  • The H-1B visa is a dual intent visa allowing the visa holder to apply for Legal Permanent Residency or a green card;
  • If after six (6) years no other employment arrangements are made to extend the work visa, the H-1B expires and this requires the visa holder to leave the United States. The employee would be allowed to re-apply and re-enter the United States after one (1) year;
  • An H-1B visa grantee would be allowed to begin working legally under the visa on the first day of the fiscal year, which is twelve months from October 1 of year one and would end at September 30 of year six. All working visas commence on October 1 of each year;
  • In the current process, the US government accepts applications commencing on April 1 of the same year or six months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year;
  • The “specialty occupations” covered under the H-1B visa system include Information Technology and Computing, Telecommunications, HealthCare, Accounting and Finance, Teaching and Education, Legal, Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising, Sales and Management and Engineering.

For more information about the H-1B visa, contact the immigration law offices of