H-1B: SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS,

DOD COOPERATIVE RESEARCH &

DEVELOPMENT PROJECT WORKERS, & FASHION MODELS

The H1-B visa category applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relation to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability. 

What are the H-1B Specialty Occupations General Requirements?

Eligibility

The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position

  • The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree

  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position

  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher degree

How Do I Qualify for an H-1B Visa?

For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university

  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation

  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment

  • Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

Does the H-1B Require a Labor Condition Application?

Yes, a Labor Condition Application is required. The prospective employer must file an approved Form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Application (LCA), with the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. This application includes certain attestations, a violation of which result in fines, bars on sponsoring nonimmigrant or immigrant petitions, and other sanctions to the employer. The application requires the employer to attest that it will comply with the following labor requirements:

  • The employer will pay the beneficiary a wage which is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or, if greater, the prevailing wage for your position in the geographic area in which you will be working.

  • The employer will provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other similarly employed workers. At the time of the labor condition application there is no strike or lockout at the employer place of business.

  • Notice of the filing of the labor condition application with the DOL has been given to the union bargaining representative or has been posted at the place of business.

H-1B2 – DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker

What are the H-1B2 Requirements?

The job must meet both of the following criteria to qualify as a DOD cooperative research and development project:

  • The cooperative research and development project or a co-production project is provided for under a government-to-government agreement administered by the U.S. Department of Defense

  • A bachelor’s or high degree, or its equivalent is required to perform duties.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this visa category you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have complete a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university

  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation

  • Hold an unrestricted State license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment

  • Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty

H-1B3 – Fashion Model

What is the H-1B3?

 

The H1-B3 visa is for positions/services for a fashion model of prominence.

Eligibility

 

To be eligible for this visa category:

  • To be eligible for this visa category you must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

Is a Labor Condition Application Required for H-1B3 Visa?

Yes, the prospective employer must file an approved LCA with the Form I-129.

What are the Labor Condition Application Requirements for a H-1B3 Visa?

The prospective employer must file an approved Labor Condition Application with the Form I-129. The prospective employer must file an approved Form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Application (LCA), with the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. This application includes certain attestations, a violation of which result in fines, bars on sponsoring nonimmigrant or immigrant petitions, and other sanctions to the employer. The application requires the employer to attest that it will comply with the following labor requirements:

  • The employer will pay the beneficiary a wage which is no less than the wage paid to similarly qualified workers or, if greater, the prevailing wage for your position in the geographic area in which you will be working.

  • The employer will provide working conditions that will not adversely affect other similarly employed workers. At the time of the labor condition application there is no strike or lockout at the employer place of business.

  • Notice of the filing of the labor condition application with the DOL has been given to the union bargaining representative or has been posted at the place of business.

 

 

What are the Steps For a H-1B Visa Categories Application Process?

 

Step 1:

(This step is only required for specialty occupation and fashion model petitions):

 

The Employer must submit LCA to Department of Labor for certification.

The employer also apply for and receive DOL certification.

Step 2:

 

Employer Submits Completed Form I-129 to USCIS.

The employer should file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with the correct USCIS Service Center. The DOL-certified LCA must be submitted with the Form I-129 (only for specialty occupation and fashion models).

Step 3:

Prospective Workers Outside the U.S. Apply for Visa and/or Admission.

Once the Form I-129 petition has been approved, the prospective H-1B worker who is outside the U.S. may apply with the U.S. Department of State at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad for an H-1B visa (if a visa is required). Regardless of whether a visa is required, the prospective H-1B worker must then apply to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for admission to the U.S. in H-1B classification.

 

How Long is the Period of Stay for an H-1B Visa Holder?

 

As an H-1B nonimmigrant, you may be admitted for a period of up to three years. Your time period may be extended, but generally cannot go beyond a total of six years, though some exceptions do apply under sections 104(c) and 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21).

 

Your employer will be liable for the reasonable costs of your return transportation if your employer terminates you before the end of your period of authorized stay. Your employer is not responsible for the costs of your return transportation if you voluntarily resign your position. You must contact the Service Center that approved your petition in writing if you believe that your employer has not complied with this requirement.

 

Is there an H-1B Cap?

 

The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit "cap" of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.

 

Family of H-1B Visa Holders

 

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in the H-4 nonimmigrant classification. Beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as long as the H-1B nonimmigrant has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.

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