Most people around the world aspire to work in the USA to skyrocket in their careers. They long for a better standard of living.
To immigrate to the USA for employment, one needs to acquire an H-1B visa issued every year by USCIS to 85,000 applicants through a lottery system.
Handy Tips for H1B Immigrants
Here are some tips for you if you are an H1B Immigrant.
1. Cheapest US Cities for H-1B Immigrants
Qualifying for an H1B visa is a taxing ordeal. Coupled with that, the extensive costs of living and surviving in this competitive and expensive country make it even more difficult.
However, you can now choose to live in a city with much cheaper rentals and a better and more inclusive environment for immigrants.
Check out these cities, which rank among the cheapest cities in the US for H1B immigrants.
1.1 Fort Wayne, Indiana:
Known to be one of the most immigrant-friendly cities in the US, this city comes with a suburban setting and
has a median rent rate of 670 dollars.
With several family-based businesses running, the cost of living and
dining out too is reasonable enough. And the low crime rates come as a bonus.
1.2 Evansville, Indiana:
Evansville is a town with the perfect blend of a big city environment with a suburban feel. With a median rent of 702 dollars and most family-run enterprises with many publicly funded universities for higher education and an upcoming medical school, this seems to be a great choice.
Also, its proximity to other big cities like Louisiana makes it an even better bet.
1.3 South Bend, Indiana:
Ranking close to Evansville with a median rent rate of 703 dollars, the employment opportunities and infrastructure is well developed.
However, the city ranks low on safety due to the high incidences of break-ins and violence.
1.4 Topeka, Kansas:
Extremely close to Manhattan and Kansas City, this town has a median rent rate of 721 dollars and ranks high in diversity and avenues for young and retired couples.
The median home value is 96500 dollars, making it an attractive destination for real estate too.
1.5 Toledo, Ohio:
With an impeccable median rent rate of 643 dollars and a median home value of 78200 dollars, the affordability quotient is pretty high for this one.
Moreover, the picturesque backdrop of the Maumee river makes it an even more desirable destination.
2. Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting an H1B Visa
It’s not easy to make it through the H1B approval process. But following certain things can dramatically increase your chances of getting an H1B visa. Remember, foresight, accuracy, and a pragmatic approach are essential.
Follow these tips to increase your odds of getting the visa:
Tip #1: Get your petition in as soon as the window opens!
You need to understand that the H1B visa petition has a strict deadline due to the short window period for filing the applications.
Please don’t wait to file your visa application because the later you file, the lesser your chances of making it.
Remember, there are only five business days allotted for filing the petition, and they start from the first working day in April every year.
Tip #2: Filing petitions with multiple employers may be an effective strategy.
While the USCIS revokes and rejects duplicate applications, you are permitted to submit petitions for multiple employers.
And the more applications you file, the more your chances are to get selected. You can transfer your employment once your petition has been approved.
Tip #3: Employers–Check if the foreign worker has been previously counted against the cap.
The annual cap quota is highly competitive, and it’s challenging to make it. So always look for a chance to escape the annual cap by qualifying for a cap exemption.
So always look for non-profit organizations, higher learning institutions, or government agencies as they are cap-exempt.
Tip #4: Provide adequate evidence showing the employer can pay the prevailing wage.
All the evidence that your employer can pay the prevailing wage has to be provided to ensure that you get selected. All the information needs to be duly provided.
Tip #5: Double-check all mailing addresses and sections that require a signature.
Incomplete documents and inaccurate addresses can lead to the rejection of applications. So never neglect any sections of the required fields.
Double-check everything, including information, addresses, and signatures, as well as the required documents, before submitting it.
3. Income tax of an H1B immigrant
Taxation in the US has specific criteria. And there are two kinds of citizens in the US, tax residents and non-tax residents.
Also, all permanent residents and green card holders are tax residents. Still, in the case of non-immigrant visas and, most specifically, the H1B visa, the tax status may depend on whether your employer already deducts taxes from your wages and files them on your behalf.
This depends on your duration of stay in the US after approval of the H1B visa petition. It also depends on what we call the first choice.
3.1 Understanding Your Taxes
It is important to report all your income to the IRS, whether you are likely to be taxed or not, and whether what you earned has been from the US or any other country.
H1B visa taxation is levied only when the candidates spend at least 183 days of the current year, starting from the United States’ visa validation. In this case, you have to report your income to the IRS and also file for an income tax return.
Apart from this, there are also other criteria to determine if you are a tax resident. If you spent at least 183 ‘weighted’ days in the previous three years in the US and spent at least 31 days in the current year, you qualify as a tax resident.
According to the weighted system, all days in the current year amount to one day, all days in the previous year amount to 1/3 of a day, and all days in the year before that count as 1/6 of a day.
If the total of these days is 183 days, you need to report your income to the IRS. Certain government employees and students are exempted from this rule, though.
You need to file a form 1040 with the IRS to be able to file a tax return.
4. Goals Every H1B Immigrant Should Have
When that H1B visa application finally gets approved, your joy knows no bounds. But at the same time, it is vital to have a list of aims and objectives that will help you steer smoothly through the entire course of your stay in the US.
Here are a few goals you should have as an H1B immigrant.
4.1 Contribute to the US
As a lawful immigrant to the US, you should always aspire to give back to this country as much as possible, whether through obedience to the law or contributions to society in any way. Always remember to do your part.
4.2 Give Your Best to your Employer
You should utilize your skills to ensure maximum revenues and growth for the organization you’re working at. Remember, they are why you landed up in this country, so always give it back.
It would help if you worked towards growing professionally at all times. This helps build your personality, and you can also look for a better job opportunity than the existing one.
Always strive to augment your skills and never be stagnant. This is important because if you ever get fired from your job due to unavoidable reasons, you always have a skill set that can land you a much better job.
4.4 Better Standard of Living
The reason you shifted to the US was to get a better life. So your goal as an H1B immigrant should always be to improve your living standards and ensure that your life improves for the better.
It would be best if you always aimed to afford better amenities and facilities for yourself.
From education to work permits, everything you do is centred on your family. And if you have H4 dependents with you, this becomes even more important. So it would help if you focused on the well-being of your family and a good, sound education for your children.