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H-1B visa meaning, eligibility and cost involved - Everything explained

Updated on: May 30, 2024
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H-1B visa meaning, eligibility and cost involved - Everything explained
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According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, those looking for jobs, who are from outside the US, must apply for an H-1B visa in order to work in specialist occupations.

This article is a precise guide that discusses H-1B visa meaning, its eligibility and the cost incurred during the entire procedure.

What is an H-1B visa?

The H-1B Visa is a non-immigrant work visa that permits US firms to recruit foreign workers with particular qualifications to work in the United States after graduation, for a certain duration.

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What happens during the application process of H-1B Visa?

During the application procedure, the company must sponsor the candidate, pay for the related visa fees, and complete the required paperwork on the candidate's behalf.

The H-1B Visa needs to be sponsored by US companies; the person is not permitted to apply. Beginning on April 1st 2024, the H1-B filing period runs until the quota is reached.

The application process for an H-1B visa is quite challenging, with several deadlines and paperwork requirements. Let us dive into it.

Also read: Which student visa is required?

What is the eligibility criteria of an H-1B visa?

H-1B Visa eligibility - To obtain the H-1B visa an individual must fulfil the following criteria:

  • The person must have a valid job offer from a US employer for the specified role that requires speciality.
  • A speciality occupation requires some specialised knowledge and a bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience in areas such as mathematics, science, medicine, accounting, information technology (IT), architecture, engineering, finance, etc.
  • The applicant must have a bachelor's degree or relevant experience.
  • The employer, to whom the individual has applied, will be required to show proof that they genuinely searched for qualified American/US applicants before considering that person.
  • The candidate is going to the US to work, not for leisure, advice or humanitarian purposes.

Also read: M1 Visa guide

What is the cost incurred during the entire procedure of H-1B Visa?

It is a topic of discussion for many - ‘how much does the H-1B visa cost?’, as it influences all other expenses. 

To register for the H-1B visa, the cost required is around $10. If the applicant is approved for an H-1B visa, the company will be required to pay $780 to file Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker), or $460 for small enterprises and organisations.

The costs that go beyond Form I-129 may differ based on the size of the organisation, the cost required to accelerate the application process, whether the H-1B applicant is switching employment or not, and legal expenses.

Also read: US Student visa | Types of Student visa | How to apply US Student visa

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Benefits obtained under H-1B visa

With a successful H-1B application, visa stamp and work permit, skilled persons can:

  • obtain a social security number
  • apply for a state ID or driver’s licence
  • open a bank account
  • purchase or rent a car
  • rent or own property

The H-1B visa has a 3-year initial validity period and can be extended for up to 6 years. Certain exclusions may allow for further extensions depending on the nature of the work being done.

Qualifying the H-1B visa is a crucial part of the procedure for foreign candidates/nationals, who are seeking employment in the United States.

Other than that, if you are wondering what do international students in the USA do after graduation, they have several options available to them - Optional Practical Training (OPT), opting for further education, or else they can return to their home country.

Now, if you want to know more about the H-1B visa process and everything about studying in the US, you can book a free remote counselling session now with Edvoy!

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