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H-Visas Attorney in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Achieving Your H-Visa Goals

shaking handsH-Visas are a non-immigrant visas program for those who want to work in the U.S., but don't intend on living here permanently.

There are different forms of H-visas--depending on the industry of worker's interests--that have different specialized requirements.

H-1B Visa Requirements

H-1B visas are for individuals who work in “specialty occupations.” In most cases, this means jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or a similar level of expertise or education. For this reason, you must prove that you have a bachelor’s degree, or a certificate of equal merit, to qualify for an H1-B visa.

Additionally, your employer will need to properly fill out a Labor Condition Application.

The H-1B visa is further split into four distinct types: the normal H-1B visa, the H-1B1 visa (outlined below), the H-1B2 visa for U.S. Department of Defense Employees, and the H-1B3 visa, which USCIS reserves for distinguished fashion models.

H-2A Visa Requirements

H-2A visas are for temporary or seasonal agricultural workers from a select group of countries. Additionally, only H-2A certified companies may hire H-2A employees. However, unlike the H-1B visa, there are no special educational requirements on the employee’s part, other than qualifying for the job.

There is no limit on the number of H-2A visas that the government may issue every year. However, individual companies may have limits on the number of H-2A visa holders that they can hire.

H-2B Visa Requirements

The H-2B visa is for seasonal nonagricultural workers from certain countries. This can include any type of work, provided that the employer can demonstrate a regular, but not constant need for foreign workers.

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There are no educational or vocational requirements on the worker’s part.
The H-2B visa works similarly to the H-2A visa in that it requires you to apply with a certified H2-B employer. However, unlike H-2A visas, there is a cap on the number of H-2B visas that the government may issue in a year.

H-3 Visa Requirements

There are two different reasons to apply for an H-3 visa.

First, individuals seeking vocational training may apply if that training is not offered in their home country.

Second, individuals training in special education may also apply if they’re pursuing training related to the education of children with disabilities. This second type allows “special education exchange visitors” to enter the U.S. for professional, hands-on training.

Applying under the first reason is actually quite complicated, as there are many moving parts. However, these parts essentially boil down to two main requirements:

  • First, in order to obtain the H-3 trainee visa, you must provide documentation from the training program you are planning to attend.

  • Second, you must describe, in detail, why the training is unavailable in your home country, and explain how you're attending the program will not disrupt U.S.citizens applying to the same program.

As a related note, you should note that the H-3 trainee visa is very different from an F-1 or M-1 student visa.

While an H-3 trainee visa lets you learn a specific career within two years, student visas cover a wide range of long-term educational programs. Also, unlike student visas, an H-3 trainee visa cannot be used to obtain graduate medical training.

In order to apply for the H-3 visa for “special education exchange visitors,” you must meet a few other requirements. Generally, this application is filled out by the petitioner’s home institution and requires a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent.

Additionally, USCIS caps special education exchange visitor applications at only 50 per year, so the application process is actually quite selective.

The H-4 Visa

Unlike the other H visa classifications, the H-4 visa is not generally used for workers. Instead, USCIS reserves H-4 visas for the spouses and children of H visa holders. Essentially, this subcategory allows H visa holders to bring their families along with them to the U.S.

In order to do so, each H-4 applicant must fill out a separate DS-160 form. A parent may fill out the form for a child under the age of 16. Additionally, holders of H-4 visas generally cannot work while in the country.

However, there is one exception. As of 2015, the spouses of any of the H-1B visa holders may work while in the U.S. provided they have proper documentation. To do so, they must apply for employment authorization and submit additional evidence of their relationship with the original H visa holder.

Applying for an H visa is a great option for getting ahead in your career. However, failing to do so correctly can cost you a great deal of time and money. Contact HLG and let us allow you to come to the US for work!