H1B Visa would give you work authorization to work in America. You can learn about the Cap Count, Lottery process, Deadlines, Processing time, Employers, Jobs from this page.
H1B Visa 2017
- Application Accepted – April 1, 2016 to April 7, 2016
- Fiscal Year (FY) – October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017
- Main Blog Post for FY 2017 – H1B Visa 2017
What is H1B Visa
H-1B is non-immigrant dual intent visa, which allows companies to hire foreign workers for specialty occupations. Here is a partial list of occupations that are eligible to sponsor H1B – Engineer (Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Industrial, Civil, Chemical, Biomedical). Architecture, Maths, Physics, Life Science, law, accounting and so many other areas.
How to Get H-1B Visa?
An employer must sponsor H1B. A person cannot apply for H1 on their own (self-sponsor). Usually, companies will work with an immigration attorney to apply for H1B. After the job is offered company will send required documents to the attorney. They will contact the employee get other required H1B documents. The attorney will then prepare the application and submit to USCIS for approval.
H-1B Quota or Cap Numbers
There is a limit on a number of visas available per fiscal year.
- General Cap – 65,000 per year
- Advanced Degree Cap – 20,00 per year
- Cap-Exempt – No Limit
As per USCIS Fiscal starts on October 1 of each year and ends on September, 30 of next year.
If you have completed Advanced degree from U.S. Universities, there is additional 20,000 H1B cap. In previous few years, H-1B cap was exhausted in the first week of H-1B filing. Links to H-1B Cap Count updates table.
- FY Cap Count 2016
- FY Cap Count 2015
- FY Cap Count 2014
- FY Cap Count 2013
- FY Cap Count 2012
- FY Cap Count 2011
- FY Cap Count 2010
Employers that fall under Non-Profit and Research organizations can sponsor H1B, which are Cap-exempt.
|H1B Fiscal Year||H1B Filing Date||Date Cap Reached|
How to Get the Visa
Refer to this details blog post about – How to Get H1B Visa.
- Within the US ( from different visa type)
- Apply for H1 while you are the outside US ( say India)
If H1 application is submitted under regular processing, it can take up to three months for USCIS to review the application and make the decision. If Request For Evidence (RFE) is issued, then it might delay the process.
By paying additional $1000, H1B petition can be submitted through Premium processing. USCIS will take 15 days to decide on your petition status. When USCIS receives your H1 petition, Receipt number will be assigned and mailed back to the petitioner. You will have to ask your attorney or employer for the receipt number.
USCIS the H1B receipt number, you can check the status of your application at USCIS Case Status Online web page.
There is no deadline to apply for H1b petition. IF H1B cap numbers are available, you can apply any time. For example, USCIS will accept H1 petitions form April 1, 2015, for FY 20156 with the start date of October 1, 2015.
Students in OPT can continue to work for the employer, when H1B is approved with Change of status, then your status will automatically change from F1 OPT to H1B.
H1B Visa Lottery
USCIS will conduct a random selection of petitions if a number of application received is more than available H1B Cap limits.
Working in the USA on H1 Visa
USCIS will issue H1 for six years in total (2x block of 3 years). H1B holder can work only for the employer who sponsored their H1B Visa. It its il-llegal to earn income other than employer while on H1B. It is possible to have concurrent H1B, that will enable you to work for two different employers.
Students used to prefer working on OPT (Optional Practical Training) as long as possible. Because, under OPT status, you are not required to pay around 7% FICA (Social Security and Medicare) Taxes. You will get additional 7% income. H1B holders are required to pay FICA taxes.
Note – This page will be frequently updated updated. Always seek professional help from Immigration attorney. Immigration law in U.S. is complicated, based on your unique situation, the attorney will able to give you the right solution.
After H1B Visa Approval
After your H1B petition is approved, you will get Approval Notice. This Approval notice is a form called I797. There’s three kinds of I-797. Here’s the Difference Between I-797A, I-797B, and I-797C.
Once you get the form, you have to either attend visa interview if you are located outside America. Read more here – What to do After H1B Petition is Approved
Stamping and Interview
After H1B Visa is approved, there are several cases that would decide if you need to go for H1B stamping. [Video – H1B interview Mock Interview]
- With I-94: Generally if your H1B (I-797) is approved with I-94 then you can start working from the start date and you should be already in US.
- Without I-94: You must get H1 Visa stamping before you can start working. This happens when H1 is approved without Change of Status.
- Outside US: If your H1 is approved while you are living outside the US.