The H-1B visa applies to employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation is one that requires the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Employers must attest to the Department of Labor that they will pay wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant workers that are at least equal to the actual wage paid by the employer to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment, whichever is greater.
However, H-1B visas are subject to an annual visa cap each financial year. Current immigration law allows for a total of 85,000 new H-1B visas to be made available each government fiscal year. This number includes 65,000 new H-1B visas available for overseas workers in specialty (professional) level occupations with at least a bachelor’s degree, with an additional 20,000 visas available for those specialty workers with an advanced degree from a U.S. academic institution.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services implemented the electronic registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap. The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will be run on properly submitted electronic registrations. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.
H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the United States under the H-4 Visa category as dependents.