An H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that is filed by a U.S. employer to temporarily employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation.

The employer must generally show that the position requires one of the following:

  • A Bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position;
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry or the particular position is so complex or unique that a degree is required;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or equivalent for the position; OR
  • The nature of the specific duties are so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with attainment of the degree.

A specialty occupation includes the definition of professional, which includes but is not limited to architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academies, or seminaries. Initial period of stay in the United States: Up to 3 years. Extensions possible in up to 3-year increments. Maximum period of stay generally 6 years (extensions beyond 6 years may be possible).