The H-1B visa is a temporary employment visa issued for an initial period of one to three years (with the option to renew it for a total of six years). It is a popular way for US employers to hire qualified foreign workers in certain specialty occupations. This visa has become extremely popular with American employers, and the batch of H1Bs goes quickly each year.
If you have a university degree or professional qualification, you may be eligible for the H-1B visa. You must be sponsored by a US employer, have a degree or diploma appropriate to the field of work (if a diploma, you must also have 3 years of experience in the field), and be offered the prevailing wage for the position by the employer. If the degree/diploma/work experience is from a foreign nation, it must be evaluated by an agency approved by US CIS.
There are no more H-1B visas available until Oct. 1, 2013 but people will begin filing visa petitions on April 1, 2013 for that batch of visas. Individuals who are facing having an evaluation done need to begin working on the process right away. It can take many weeks to get the necessary college transcripts and letters from overseas. Then it can in some cases take weeks to get the evaluation done, and it there is an appeal or request for more information, more time is used up during the process.
There are a number of agencies across the US which are approved by the USCIS for evaluation of foreign degrees. Each agency has a fee schedule. The fee covers the agency's work in researching a particular case. It does not guarantee that a college transcript can be issued if, for example, only your secondary-level education can be validated. If you are unhappy with the result from one agency, you may try another as long as it approved by USCIS, though it may result in additional expenditure. Email me for a list of evaluation centers in the USA.
We had a good turnout at our legal clinic last week at the Banshee. Thanks to our volunteers who showed up on the night and to attorney Chris Lavery who donated his time. Irish immigrants were helped on a variety of issues including visa options, legal status, and US citizenship. We are lucky to have two of Bostons leading experts on immigration law, Dan Harrington and Chris Lavery, provide free legal aid at our clinics each month. Our next legal clinic will be December 4th at 6:30 PM.
Email me today with your immigration query or a topic you would like us to cover: Kieran@ipcboston.org
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.