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What is H1B visa? United States H1B work permit visa information

BY: Swati | Category: Others | Post Date: 2009-07-18
 



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H1B visa is the most popular work visa for qualified professionals wanting to work in United States. In this article I will tell you a few basic things that all H1B applicants should know before coming to United States.

How to get H1B visa?
H1B visa is issued by US Government (USCIS) to allow corporations with offices in United States to get qualified professionals from other countries. The purpose of this visa is to get only those professionals possessing skill set which are not easily available in United States itself. In other words there is a shortage of these professionals. IT professionals, Nurses and Teachers are examples of some categories where H1 visa is often issued. Every year about 65,000 H1B visa's are issued. The employer must demonstrate that the position is one requiring a professional in a specialty occupation and that the intended employee has the required qualifications. Generally at least the equivalent of a job-relevant 4-year US Bachelor's degree is required.

How long is H1B visa valid?
It allows you to stay in United States for 3 years. Another 3 year extension is allowed. Beyond these 6 years, you can only stay on H1 visa if the application of your Green card has been pending for more than 1 year.

Who pays for H1B visa costs?
Your employer.

Can I change jobs?
Yes, this is the best part of H1B visa. You are free to change jobs as far as USCIS is concerned, but you may be restricted by the contract/bond signed by your current employer (if any). Validity of these employer based bonds is often a subject of confusion.

Can I get US Green Card while working on H1 Visa?
Yes, if your employer agrees to file for your green card, they can apply for it. The process of green card is not easy or quick, it can take several years to get a United States Green Card. Wait times vary with EB-1 being fastest and EB-3 category being slowest. The three stages of green card are
a. Labor Certification ( PERM based labour applications usually takes about 3 months )
b. I-140 ( These take about 6 months )
c. I-485 ( The processing itself takes about 6 months to 1 year. But based on your country of birth and EB-category, you may not be able file this stage immediately after I-140 approval because of huge delays and quota allocations. Professionals from India and China usually face several years of additional wait, unless US changes it's Green Card laws)

Can I take my wife with me (or get married later)?
Yes, your wife can come with you on H4 visa (spouse visa).

Will my wife be able to work?
H4 visa does not allow spouses to work. But they can study in US universities if they want. Spouses can also file their own H1 visa, which has nothing to do with their husband's visa.

What if I lose my job while on H1 visa?
You should immediately find a new employer who can transfer your H1B visa, otherwise you and your family should return back to your country.

Are there any wage restrictions?
Employers should ideally pay their employees current prevalent wage.

Where can I find more information about H1B visa?
Several sites like en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa and Murthy.com are great sites for information about H1B visa. I am not an immigration lawyer and immigration laws change often.

Will I get US drivers License?
Yes, after clearing written exam you will get a temporary driving permit (has many restrictions). But, after passing your driving test you will get your state issued drivers license.

Is H1B visa better than L1 visa?
Both visa's have their own benefits. The biggest advantage of H1B visa holder is ability to change job at any time. L1 visa is not subjected to any cap but your cannot change your employer. On the other hand, wife of L1 visa holder (L2 visa), can work in United States. Wife of H1B visa holder (on H4 visa) cannot work in United States.

What is the official site of United States Immigration department?
www.uscis.gov

How to find find a company which will sponsor my H1 visa?
In order to sponcer a new H1B visa, a company has to satisfy many criteria's. An individual may not apply for H-1B visa. H-1B status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. New H1B legislation requires certain employers, called 'H1B dependent employers' to advertise positions in the USA before petitioning to employ H1B workers.

COMPANY No. of H1B Visas (2008)
*********** *****************

* INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 4,559
* WIPRO LIMITED 2,678
* SATYAM COMPUTER SERVICES LIMITED 1,917
* TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED 1,539
* MICROSOFT CORP 1,037
* ACCENTURE LLP 731
* COGNIZANT TECH SOLUTIONS US CORP 467
* CISCO SYSTEMS INC 422
* LARSEN & TOUBRO INFOTECH LIMITED 403
* IBM INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED 381
* INTEL CORP 351
* ERNST & YOUNG LLP 321
* PATNI AMERICAS INC 296
* TERRA INFOTECH INC 281
* QUALCOMM INCORPORATED 255
* MPHASIS CORPORATION 251
* KPMG LLP 245
* PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY PUBLIC SCHS 239
* BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCH SYSTEM 229
* DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP 218
* GOLDMAN SACHS & CO 211
* EVEREST BUSINESS SOLUTIONS INC 208
* VERINON TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS LTD 208
* GOOGLE INC 207
* EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH SCHOOL SYS 205
* DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP 195
* UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND 191
* UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 186
* UNIV OF MICHIGAN 183
* MARLABS INC 177
* ORACLE USA INC 168
* UNIV OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO 168
* ALLIED SOLUTIONS GROUP INC 166
* RITE AID CORPORATION 161
* V-SOFT CONSULTING GROUP INC 161
* CUMMINS INC 159
* THE JOHNS HOPKINS MED INSTS OIS 157
* VEDICSOFT SOLUTIONS INC 156
* UNIV OF WISCONSIN MADISON 151
* JPMORGAN CHASE & CO 150
* I-FLEX SOLUTIONS INC 148
* CLERYSYS INC 147
* YALE UNIVERSITY 145
* HARVARD UNIVERSITY 143
* STATE UNIV OF NY AT STONY BROOK 143
* DIS NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH 141
* YAHOO INC 139
* STANFORD UNIV 138
* CDC GLOBAL SERVICES INC 135
* GLOBAL CONSULTANTS INC 131
* LEHMAN BROTHERS INC 130
* THE OHIO STATE UNIV 128
* UNIV OF MINNESOTA 128
* MORGAN STANLEY & CO INC 125
* TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INCORPORATED 123
* UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH 122
* MCKINSEY & COMPANY INC US 121
* MERRILL LYNCH & CO INC 121
* UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DAVIS 121
* MGL AMERICAS INC 120
* UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 120
* COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 119
* LOVELACE RESPIRATORY RESEARCH INST 118
* DIASPARK INC 117
* INFOVISION TECHNOLOGIES INC 114
* UNIV OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES 114
* EVEREST CONSULTING GROUP INC 113
* INDIANA UNIV PURDUE UNIV INDIANAPO 113
* THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY 113
* ITECH US INC 112
* MOTOROLA INC 112
* XPEDITE TECHNOLOGIES INC 112
* DIBON SOLUTIONS INC 111
* ZYLOG SYSTEMS LTD DBA ZSL INC 111
* NYC HHC HARLEM HOSPITAL CTR 110
* MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL 109
* VISION SYSTEMS GROUP INC 107
* DALLAS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 105
* IBM CORPORATION 104
* NORTHWESTERN UNIV 104
* UNIV OF WASHINGTON 104
* DUKE UNIV UNIV MED CTR & AFFIL INS 103
* MULTIVISION INC 100
* COSMOS FDN INC DBA HARMONY SCIENCE 99
* WASHINGTON UNIV IN ST LOUIS 99
* AMAZON GLOBAL RESOURCES INC 98
* FLORIDA HOSPITAL 98
* PRICE WATER HOUSE COOPERS LLP 98
* UST GLOBAL INC 98
* UT SOUTHWESTERN MED CTR AT DALLAS 97
* NEW YORK CITY DEPT OF EDUCATION 96
* UNIV OF CA SAN FRANCISCO 95
* UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO 95
* UNIVERSITY OF NC AT CHAPEL HILL 95
* CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION 94
* CITIGROUP GLOBAL MARKETS INC 93
* MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECH 93
* MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY 93
* UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER 93

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Comments on this article: (4 comments so far)

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Comment Comment By Comment Date
To Martha
Martha, You should not use your h1b visa just for visiting relatives. Get a job first and only then visit USA. Immigration dept has become quite strict these days due to higher unemployment. Post your question on forums like immigration.c0m for free advice from the community.
Guest 2010-01-09
h1b query
I`m a holder of an H1b visa. However, according to my agent I can`t be in U.S until my job is surely available. I`m a teacher and since it`s midyear vacancies are difficult to come up. Is it true that after 30 to 60 days of arrival to U.S I should start on my job otherwise my employer will be investigated by the Dept of Labor & Employment if I haven`t gotten one? Because of this I can`t be there yet until the opening of the school year. My H1b visa took effect Jan. 04 this year. While waiting for my job will I be allowed to travel first in other states to visit my relatives using my H1b visa ? Thanks
Martha 2010-01-08
h1b visa
dear sir, i am diploma in mach.Eng.holder 10+3 12 years exp. allied solution group inc sponsoring me h1b am i eligible to h1b visa.? thanking you, khaderkhan.p
khaderkhan.p 2009-08-25
To khaderkhan
Kader, I am not a lawyer or an immigration expert, but my guess is that you need atleast a 4 years bachelors degree for h1B visa. Sometimes a 3 years bachelors degree + 2 year Masters degree are also equal to a 4 year US bachelor degree. Try not to pay anything for the visa, its totally their responsibility. The best place for your to find answer are websites called murthy.c0m and immigration.c0m
Guest 2009-08-25



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