Guide to US H1B Visa 2024 (Requirements and Process)

Guide to US H1B Visa. One of the Popular Work Visa. The US H1B Visa is a temporary work Visa for foreign workers to work in the United States. It allows U.S. employers to hire a qualified foreign worker with specialized skills for a specific period. The U.S. Company sponsors an H1B Visa so you can not file it yourself. Your company will file a Petition on your behalf. To be qualified for the H1B program you must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any occupation.

The H1B Visa is a Sponsored program. Your company will cover the cost of the Visa Fee, Petition fee, and the Department of Labor Fee. The H1B Visa is generally Valid for 3 years. Secondly, there is an annual Cap on the H1B Visa. There are a total of 85,000 H1B Visas every year. Out of this 20,000 are for U.S. Graduates and 65,000 are for all other graduates from any country. Below are more details about the US H1B Visa, the requirements, the Visa cap, and the application process.

Eligibility Criteria for H1B Visa Program

To be eligible for the US H1B Visa, an applicant must have:

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in that field.
  • You must have a Valid Job offer from the U.S. Employer.

Understand the H1B Visa Cap

The H-1B visa cap is a limit on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued each year.

The current cap is 65,000 visas, with an additional exemption for the first 20,000 foreign nationals who hold a U.S. master’s degree or higher. A total of 85,000 H1B Visas are issued each year.

H1B Cap Exempt

Certain employers in the U.S. are exempt from this annual cap. These employers can file a Petition at any time of the year, without going through the lottery process.

Here are the types of employers that are exempt from the H-1B cap:

  • Working in Institutions of higher education
  • Non-profit entities affiliated with institutions of higher education
  • Non-profit research organizations
  • Government research organizations

Understand the US H1B Visa Lottery

Because there is a lot of demand for the H-1B Visa. Many employers in the U.S. File a petition to hire a Foreign worker.

The USCIS conducts a random lottery every year in March and selects 85,000 applicants only. If you have been selected then you can apply for the US H1B Visa online or at the US Embassy/consulate.

US H1B Visa Requirements

  • You must secure a Job offer from the US employer/company.
  • Your employer will file a Petition on your behalf. The US H1B Visa is initiated by the employer, you can not directly apply for the H1B Visa at the US Embassy.
  • If your name has been selected in the H1B Lottery, it means that you have been pre-selected to apply for an H1B visa.
  • Now you can apply for the US H1B Visa at the U.S. embassy.

How to Apply for a US H1B Visa?

The H1B Application is filled by the applicant. As an applicant, you have to follow these methods:

  • Fill in Form DS-160: The DS-160 is the most important part of the application.
  • Schedule an interview: Make an appointment at the nearest US Embassy in your country.
  • Pay the H1B visa fees: Your employer will pay the Visa fee.
  • Submit the required documents: This includes all your academic proofs, degrees, work experience if any, Job contract, etc.
  • Attend the H1B interview: You will receive the decision about your Visa during the interview.

Duration of H1B Visa

The Visa is valid for 3 years but can be extended for another 3 years. In total a person can stay and work in the US for 6 years.

After 6 years you may apply for an Employment-Based Green Card (conditions applied).

Cost Covered by the US Employer for H1B Visa

  • Visa Fee
  • H1B Petition Fee
  • Department of Labor Fee

Helpful Resources

USCIS on H1B Visa

Conclusion: This is a General Guide to US H1B Visa and its process. It is advisable to visit the official website for up-to-date information.

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As Opportunities Corners founder, my name is Muhammad Saim Rasheed. I completed my higher education from University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar. I have been to Egypt for the AIESEC internship in 2016. In addition, I am an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State's (SUSI 2017) Exchange Program. I participated in the Young Leaders Fellowship in the Maldives in 2021, and I went to the International Youth Leadership Summit in Turkiye in 2022. Since 2017, I have participated in numerous fully funded educational and leadership programs. I therefore created this blog based on my own personal experiences, and I mentor students who are eager and enthusiastic about pursuing fully funded opportunities. You can visit the official sources for additional information by clicking on the links provided at the end of each post. Read more about me and our partners here. I am also Featured by Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network