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H-1B Visas Your Dream is My Dream

Tampa, FL H-1B Visa Attorney

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers with specialized skills to work in the United States. It is designed for people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation or services of exceptional merit.

At American Dream™ Law Office, PLLC, we offer comprehensive immigration law services with a robust practice in business or employment-based visas. Our attorney, an immigrant himself, has been through the immigration process and understands the stress and uncertainty of applying for the visa you need. 

We are here to help make the process less confusing, less intimidating, and more manageable. We aim to help you reach your goal by applying our knowledge of the system, using our skills, and diligence on your behalf. 

Book a confidential consultation with our Tampa H-1B visa lawyer. Call American Dream™ Law Office at (813) 499-1250

What Are Specialty Occupations?

A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that requires a bachelor’s degree. The immigrant must have a highly specialized theoretical and practical body of knowledge. 

The position must meet one of the following four criteria:

  • A baccalaureate or higher degree or equivalent is usually the minimum requirement for the position.
  • The degree requirement is one that is common in the industry.
  • The employer usually requires a degree or equivalent.
  • The specific duties are so specified and complex that the duties are associated with the attainment of a degree.

A person may still apply for an H-1B visa if they have equivalent field experience. For every three years in a field, the United States honors it as one year of education. Therefore, if someone has an AA degree
(associate in arts) and has worked in a field for an extensive period, we can claim they have a bachelor’s degree equivalent and can put them in the H-1 classification.

One requirement for the H-1B visa is that you are only here temporarily. However, you can have “dual intent,” which means you plan to be here on an H-1B visa and intend to become a permanent resident. 

The other categories for H-1B visas include:

  • Distinguished Merit. The applicant must possess exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, which has been recognized nationally or internationally.
  • Fashion Models: The applicant must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

Labor Conditions Application

Before an employer can file the petition, it must obtain a labor conditions application (LCA) from the Department of Labor. The LCA certifies the salary an H-1B holder must receive. The employee must be paid at least the prevailing wage in the locality.

The H1-B Visa Cap 

H-1B visas are capped at 65,000 per year for applicants with a bachelor’s degree; these are taken up very quickly. Many people apply on April 1st, which is the opening date for the application. Of those visas, 20,000 are reserved for people who have a master’s degree. 

In recent years, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services has received three times more petitions than available visas. The Service has instituted a lottery system to select applicants for a visa number.

Some petitions are exempt from the cap. Applicants who hold master’s degrees are exempt up to the 20,000 limit. Physicians who have received a waiver of the residency program are also exempt. Applicants with employment offers from an institution of higher learning with a research program and not-for-profit schools affiliated with a government entity are also exempt. If you work for a publicly-funded entity, you may be able to obtain an exemption.

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