The H-1B visa is an employer-sponsored program allowing foreign citizens to work for US-based companies under specialty occupations for 6 years. It would help if you held a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification in biotechnology, architecture, engineering, physical sciences, social sciences, health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, and theology.
H1B Visa Application: An Informative Guide
How to Know if the H1B Visa is the One You Should Apply For?
Let’s start by answering the most important question: is the H1B Visa the right option for you?
Moreover, if you’ve been studying in a US-based university under an F1 visa, you can apply for a job here itself, and your employer shall file a visa on your behalf. It is important to note here that the H1B visa is a portal of entry for people belonging to the specialty occupations category.
If you do not belong to this bracket, you are strictly barred from applying. If your employer is willing to pay you a wage equal to or higher than the existing American employees under the same occupation- only then can they apply for this work visa?
If you’re a citizen of Australia, you can apply for an E3 visa, while there’s a TN visa for Canadian and Mexican citizens. And you can also apply for a J1 exchange visitor status if you’re not looking for spending a long time in the US.
You need to figure out your requirements before you apply for any visa programs. In conclusion, the H1B visa may or may not be what you require, so you need to make sure that this is the immigration scheme you’re looking for based on the above parameters before going ahead.
The Difference Between the H1-B Visa and the TN Visa
When you dream of going to the US to make something out of your life, you may get confused by the plethora of immigration schemes in store for you. It is difficult to choose the best visa scheme out of all these, so a basic idea is necessary.
The H1B visas are allotted to citizens of all countries. However, if you belong to Canada or Mexico, the TN visa is a much better option. Let us compare the two.
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa program for graduate-level employees belonging to specialty occupation categories, including accountants, architects, engineers, doctors, IT professionals, fashion models, artists, and more.
The TN visa program results from a special treaty between the US, Canada, and Mexico, known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This visa is meant to employ Mexican and Canadian workers who meet the required qualifications for a US-based company and have professional experience under the treaty’s 63 specified occupations.
Pros of the TN Visa:
The TN visa program is advantageous in the following departments:
- Number of visa allotments
- Application Process
- Processing Time
- Government Filing Fees
Pros of the H1B visa:
- Citizenship Requirements
- Availability of Occupation Categories
- Prevailing Wage Specifications
- Dual Intent
There is no limit to the number of TN visas issued, but the H1-B visas have an annual cap of 85000. While the H1-B visa can be given to citizens of any country, the TN is only availed by Canadian and Mexican.
How to Find a Sponsor for Your H1B visa?
You should know that you need a visa sponsor, which means that you can’t apply for the H1B program by yourself. Your employee files the petition on your behalf. A lot of companies hire H1B workers, and so there is no dearth of options.
But finding someone for this process can be a challenge, especially when you don’t know much about the application procedure. Moreover, not every advertiser on a classified ad will be into visa sponsoring. You can find a lot of good sponsors online.
Just browse through the internet and list in your requirements, and you’re good to go. For those on the F1 visa, you can obviously be on the lookout for visa sponsors during your college tenure itself. Be vigilant during college placements and professional seminars.
You need to understand that not all the firms you’re applying for are willing to sponsor your visa. Also, advertisements are not the sole recruitment methods for companies, so you can’t only depend on newspaper advertisements. Work on your networking as it will help you get an edge over the other applicants.
Also, make sure to check with the existing visa holders about the working conditions, documentation, and the right ways to tap employers for your future job. All you need is a little foresight and the right contacts.
Tips to Impress Your Sponsors for H1B Visas
There are 3 pillars on which the job market stands- Targeting, Networking, and Relationship Management.
Here are a few pointers that will help you get hold of a good visa sponsor and an even better employer for that dream job in the US.
You need to be very prepared and have the foresight to manage the right employer and set a time frame for every process required to get in. Everything from your career goals, work niche to your skillset will determine your sponsor.
Make an impressive resume:
Your resume is the first thing an employer will receive, which will mirror your skills and your potential to be successful in the job. It has to stand out so you can rise above your competition.
Don’t rely on online ads:
You need to harness your networking skills to cut. You can’t just rely on online ads because most jobs for H1B are taken way before the advertisements come out. So relying on that primarily won’t suit your purpose. Advertised jobs have a lot of competition too.
Your approach needs to be proactive, and you need to up your networking game. This alone will help you get through. Target the right companies by researching thoroughly.
Be Smarter than the rest:
You can’t be slow and docile while applying for sponsorship as there is plenty of fish in the sea. Make sure your approach is out of the box, and you act swiftly, or someone else will take away the cake. Look for companies that have a higher percentage of foreign employees.
Reasons Why Employer Attestation is very Important
Employer Attestation is one of the most important parts of the H1B visa application. The H1B visa is an employer-sponsored visa scheme, which means that the employer files it on behalf of the immigrant. Employer Attestation is a part of the Labour condition application, and there has to be evidence of the employer complying with the labor laws.
There are several employer attestations in the LCA. And before applying for an H1B visa, proof has to be provided that the sponsor is following all the required conditions for the employer status, and failure to do so will lead to your visa application being rejected.
Moreover, when a firm qualifies as an H1B visa sponsor, it needs to have a certain amount of employees already holding an H1B visa working in your firm. If your attestations are not up to the mark, this can lead to civil and criminal liabilities and monetary fines.
There has to be evidence that you will be paid an amount greater than the actual or prevailing wages. Even if your firm is already paying according to this guideline, you need to provide documented proof.
Moreover, there has to be a documented evidence and assurance from an employer’s side that the same working conditions and incentives are provided to the international employees as are provided to the US citizens working under the same designations. Any discrepancy can lead to soured relationships between the two nations.
Hence, assurances and written proofs of all the ideal working conditions as per labor laws need to be furnished to protect the employees’ integrity and maintain friendly relations between the US and foreign nations.
How Can You Check Your Visa Application Status?
After you have applied for that coveted visa program that would launch your dreams into motion, butterflies are flying in your stomach regarding the approval of your visa petition. A lot of factors come into play while selecting visa recipients.
And as premium processing is no more available, all your planning depends on the time that elapses between the application and the same approval. Any delays might cost you. So how do you check if you got in or not? You can now check for your visa status online on the USCIS website by following simple instructions.
Log in to the website. You need an account on USCIS to be able to access the site.
Click on the Case status bar on the left side of the website.
Enter your receipt number. You receive this code when you apply for the H1B visa, and it is a 13 digit code consisting of 3 alphabets. This receipt code is useful for every form of correspondence between you and the US Consulate. Don’t enter any other punctuations while entering the code.
As the results load, you can examine what part of your visa application is going through and the possibilities of getting accepted.
You can also sign up for the free updates you can receive from time to time regarding your visa petition. So please do not be lazy and wait for notifications, instead get them yourself.
That sums it up for our list of tips regarding your application for the H1B Visa. If there’s more that you’d like to learn about the subject, click here for a detailed post on the must-know facts on the subject.