The H-1B category applies to foreign nationals coming temporarily to perform services in a specialty occupation. The term “specialty occupation” encompasses the definition of a professional, in which the position requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specialized field.
The current annual cap on H-1B admissions, starting on October 1 of each calendar year, is 65,000 workers plus an additional 20,000 for holders of U.S. Master’s degrees or higher. The H-1B petition can be filed as early as April 1 of the same calendar year for a start date of October 1. F-1 students in Optional Practical Training (OPT) status who are sponsored for H-1B status by a petitioning employer and whose OPT status expires after April 1 are eligible to apply for a “cap gap fix” to extend their OPT status until September 30.
Employers that are cap-exempt, which enables the employer to file an H-B petition at any time of the year, include colleges and universities and related or affiliated non-profit entities, non-profit research organizations, and governmental research organizations.
Some terms and conditions of the H-1B classification include:
A new federal regulation implemented in June 2015 permits certain H-4 visa status holders to apply for work authorization while their H-1B spouse is navigating the employment-based permanent residence process.
To apply for an EAD under this new program, an applicant must satisfy the following criteria:
If you or your spouse would like help determining eligibility for this program, or with preparing and submitting an application, please call us at (215)-925-0705, or click here to request a consultation.
*Aside from being the beneficiary of an approved I-140, an H-1B employee may otherwise extended their H-1B status past 6 years under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 if at least 365 days have elapsed since the filing of either a PERM labor certification application or an I-140 immigrant visa petition. This is commonly referred to as a “7th-year extension.”