To qualify for H-1B nonimmigrant visa status, you must have an offer of employment from a sponsor company or employer in the United States. In turn, you must possess specialized knowledge in the field of
employment and at minimum a four-year bachelor’s degree to qualify for an H-1B visa. These limitations limit the sphere of job types that might qualify someone for an H-1B visa, as we’ll discuss below.
Meeting the Minimum Requirements for H-1B Visa Application
Before you start narrowing in on likely jobs, consider whether your educational background and work experience will not only match those jobs, but can be documented to the satisfaction of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You should be able to provide your prospective employer with copies of degrees, transcripts, and a resume to meet the minimum requirements for an H-1B application.
If you have obtained a foreign degree, your prospective employer will, as part of the application process, want to contact a company that provides academic evaluations in order to show the equivalency of the
foreign degree in the United States. For example, if you hold a bachelor’s degree from a country where these are normally completed in three years, your degree may not be considered equivalent to a U.S.bachelor’s degree; therefore you would not meet the minimum educational requirement for an H-1B visa.
Preparing a Thorough Resume
While no specific amount of work experience is required for the H-1B visa, making sure that your resume fully and completely describes your experience can help you obtain the job in the first place. U.S.employers rely heavily on resumes as evidence that applicants have the appropriate level of experience to perform the offered employment. The better a match you are for the job, the better your chances ofsucceeding with the H-1B application, as well.
However, even if you have met the requirements to qualify for an H-1B, you have to be offered a job that mirrors those qualifications. If you have a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, for example, you could not applyfor an H-1B as a pharmacy technician, as this is a job that typically requires only a high school diploma or at most an associate’s degree.
Employment Categories Most Likely to Qualify for an H-1B Visa
Assuming you have a minimum four years’ educational degree and some skilled work experience, what types of positions might you set your sights on? Here are some of the more likely fields within which to look for work.
- Education: With the high number of educational institutions in the United States, the field of education, specifically University Professors, needs quality H-1B applicants. These individuals typically possess education beyond the required minimum bachelor’s degree and experience in a specific academic specialization.
- Health Care: Doctors, specialized nurses, medical technicians, physician’s assistants, occupational therapists, and physical therapists are a few of the medical professions currently needed in the United States. Qualifying for an H-1B in this category typically requires documentation above and beyond that described above, such as a license in your medical specialty or practice type or credentialing from the state where you will be employed.
- Information Technology: Information technology and engineering firms typically hire the most among H-1B employers in the United States. Computer programmers, systems analysts, and software engineers are just a few of the likely job types. These applicants should have the education as well as the specialized knowledge gained from previous experience. Sometimes this experience is gained in the United States or abroad with a foreign subsidiary of the U.S. employer.
- Scientific: U.S. employers often seek foreign-born H-1B applicants, as it fuels greater innovation in the field as well as further job creation in the United States. Applicants with qualifications in thiscategory, such as researchers or scientists, will often have received academic accolades in addition to having completed higher education, and gained extensive specialized knowledge to present asqualifications for an H-1B visa.
The above categories are not the only options for someone seeking H-1B visa employment. If you have found a position in the U.S, and can meet the minimum requirements discussed above, then with the help of your employer and an immigration attorney, you can present a solid H-1B visa application to USCIS.
For instance, artists, musicians, athletes, higher-level executives, administrative professionals and others can potentially qualify for an H-1B visa. It is best to draw on the experience of an attorney to see which visa category, if perhaps not the H-1B, best fits your education and specialized skills.
Moving Forward With an H-1B Visa
An H-1B visa application in a specific field, such as one of those named above, does not guarantee an H-1B visa approval. As the H-1B visa application can be a time-consuming process, the applicant and employer should prepare the application with assistance from an immigration attorney.