11 Useful Tips to Get Through the H1B Visa Process
American employers hire thousands of workers from the foreign countries every year. The goal is to fill in job positions demanding specialized knowledge and expertise that the local candidates are unable to fulfill. If you are a foreign national and receive a job offer from an American employer, the next step would be to obtain the proper visa in order to work in the U.S. One of the most popular options is the H1B visa.
Many employers sponsor potential employees for H-1B Visas for a variety of occupations. Unfortunately, there are usually more jobs available than there are spaces available under the H-1B Cap. Congress has allotted 65,000 H-1B Visas for the regular quota (applicant’s with Bachelor’s Degrees) and 20,000 for the Master’s quota (must hold U.S. Master’s Degree from Public or Non-Profit University).
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), however, receives huge numbers of petitions. For example, last year in 2018, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services received 94,213 H-1B Filings in the regular cap, and they received 95,885 in Master’s. With large numbers of filings like these, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services is forced to conduct a random lottery process.. While there are no odds of increasing your chances of getting selected through the lottery process, there are ways that you can make sure that your Petition, if selected in the lottery, successfully obtains the H-1B visa approval. Making it through the lottery is only the first hurdle. Having your petition successfully approved is what counts. Here are some great tips about H1B visa requirements and other important aspects of the process:
Education/Experience Matters the Most
A Bachelor’s degree is the usually the minimum requirement to apply for H1B visa. . With recent administration changes to the lottery process, candidates that have advanced degrees from U.S. Universities, like Master’s, Doctorates or PhD will have better odds at being selected. If you do not possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree, there is the alternative of holding significant work experience in lieu of education. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services will usually consider 3 years of work experience equivalent to 1 year of university credit. As such, a candidate with over 12 years of progressive work experience may and no degree may still be able to qualify for an H-1B visa.
Find the Right Job
Having a degree or enough work experience is not enough, as you also need to find the right job that qualifies for the H1b visa requirements. The most obvious parameter in this regard would be that the job must directly relate to your degree/specialty field. Though, you may apply for a job in a field different from your degree. However, it definitely makes sense to look for a profile or position associated with your academic background.
Search for the Sponsor
Why not look specifically for the American companies/employers who have a decent record of sponsoring the foreign workers for H1B visa? Makes sense, right? Now, where to find these employers? The answer is to look in the online H1B visa sponsor databases. You may also search online using the terms like ‘American companies that sponsor H1B visa’. From the lists you obtain, find the companies offering positions related to your field. It’s also a good idea to think globally. Sometimes, companies in your own country have branches, parent companies, or subsidiaries located in the U.S. These companies can sometimes secure an H-1B or L-1 transfer to the U.S. organization if you have worked for the foreign company for some time.
Be an Early Bird
Start applying for the jobs with the prospective employers in the U.S. at the earliest (beginning of the fiscal year). You must note that H1B lottery window opens only for a short duration (usually for 5 days). The earliest date you can apply for H-1B visa is April 1. Therefore your job search should begin around October or November of the previous year. This allows time for the employer and applicant to establish a rapport and determine the best options for securing the transfer.
Don’t Limit the Number of Petitions
A good idea would be to apply for jobs/positions with more than one American employer. Yes! It is absolutely lawful. In fact, with multiple petitions in your name from different employers can indeed increase your chances of getting selected in the lottery draw. Be careful though that the same company does not submit multiple filings for the same individual applicant! This would result in your petition getting rejected!
Be Careful for situations that sound too good to be true
Sometimes applicants will find a company that promises too much as long as the candidate abroad pays a fee to them. This is not allowed under H-1B regulations. The law requires that any employer who requires an H-1B visa holder to fill a job position assume all the costs associated with the filing, including the government filing fees. If you are applying at a company that is asking you to pay their company in order to secure a job, and an H-1B visa, you should immediately walk away. .
Tips on How Get H1B Visa without Sponsor
Apply with a Global Consulting Company in Your Country
If you are able to get one such job, your chances of getting H1B visa to work in the U.S. one day may get fulfilled. However, make sure that you convey this intention of yours while accepting the offer from the company that hires you.
Use F1 or J1 Visa to Join as an Intern
Are you studying in the U.S on an F1 or J1 visa? Great! You can look for a company that offers internship and try to get selected as an intern. You may specifically search for the companies that would in future endorse you for an H1B visa. If you are not looking to study you can always apply as a J-1 trainee.
Jobs with Non-profit institutions
Many employers and universities in the U.S. are considered cap exempt and are not subject to H1B visa caps and lottery systems. These organizations are free to hire and sponsor any number of foreign workers at any time during the year. Always check with the company to find out if they are non-profit affiliated with institute of higher education or a governmental research organization. Some Additional Tips
Prepare Well for the Interview
The last of the H1b visa process steps would be to appear for the interview at the consulate. Make sure that you carry all-important documents arranged in the right order. Make sure you review the H1B visa petition to avoid feeding any inconsistent information.
Consult the Right Expert
Immigration is indeed a crucial process and faltering in any way may pose as an obstacle to the fulfillment of your dream. Don’t hesitate to consult the best immigration consultant who can guide you through the process of getting the H1B visa.
Remember that if you don’t plan the right way, you would end up waiting for one full year before the next H1B visa application opportunity. So, now is the right time to begin.