H-1B visas are the most common route to work in the United States for professional foreign workers. The basic requirements needed to obtain an H-1B visa are a job offer from a U.S. employer, where the position itself requires a minimum of a specific 4 year Baccalaureate degree and the applicant has the relevant education and/or work experience to fulfill these requirements. Additionally, the employer must pay the prevailing wage in that specific area for that specific position (and file a Labor Condition Application with the US Department of Labor).

1. Dual Intent:

Dual intent is when an H-1B alien is the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition and can also apply for adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent Resident status (LPR) without affecting his/her H-1B status. You may travel on your H-1B visa rather than obtaining advance parole or requesting other advance permission from Immigration to return to the U.S during the time your application for LPR status is pending.

2. 7th Year Extensions

(and beyond): An H-1B visa holder who is reaching his/her 6 year limit can extend past the 6th year if they have a labor certification or I-140 pending for more than 365 days, or if they are prevented from gaining their US permanent residence status due to an unavailability of immigrant visas under the per country quota system (see Visa Bulletin).

3. Work experience evaluations

in lieu of baccalaureate degree: An applicant for H-1B visa can claim the equivalent of a college degree by proving 12 years of relevant, progressive work experience. The case of Shanti, Inc. v. Reno, 36 F. Supp. 1151, 1161-1166 (D.Minn.1999) allowed the rule for 3 years of experience to be equivocated to one year of college.