The H-1B visa allows foreign employees to work temporarily in the United States in a specialty occupation.
To be eligible for H-1B status, the following criteria must be met:
- Employer-employee relationship between foreign national and U.S. employer;
- The job must qualify as a specialty occupation;
- Foreign national must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a field directly related to the offered position;
- A minimum of a bachelor’s degree must be the common minimum standard for the industry or the job must be so complex that the duties of the position can only be performed by an employee with at least a bachelor’s degree in the required field; or the employer must normally require a degree in a specific field or the equivalent;
- The petitioning employer must submit evidence that a labor condition application has been certified by the U.S. Department of Labor;
- The employer must pay at least the actual or prevailing wage (whichever is higher) for the position; and
- An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filing, unless the petition is exempt from numerical limits.
The O-1 non-immigrant visa is for those with “extraordinary ability” and can fall under one of two subcategories: the O-1A and the O-1B.
O-1A: Extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics, which is recognized on a national or international level. The individual must be part of the “small percentage of individuals” at the top of their field.
O-1B: Abilities in the arts, movies, or television with distinction and a high level of achievement accompanied by evidence of those skills and substantial recognition.
Applicants for an O-1 visa must provide evidence of either being the recipient of an internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Peace Prize or evidence of at least three of the following:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
- Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements as judged by recognized international experts;
- Published material in professional or trade publications or newsletters about the foreign national and their work in the field;
- Evidence that the foreign national has participated on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field or an allied field;
- Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions of major significance in the field;
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media; or
- Evidence that the foreign national commands a high salary or other high remuneration for services.
The applicant for the O-1 visa may be self-employed, as long as the petition is filed through an agent.
The L-1 visa enables a foreign national executive, manager or specialized knowledge employee of a multinational company to transfer to a related entity located in the United States. To be eligible for an L-1 visa, the foreign worker must meet the following criteria:
- Must have been employed by the foreign entity for at least one continuous year during the last three years;
- Must continue to work with a U.S. affiliate once they enter the U.S.;
- May have held an executive or managerial position (L-1A) or have a position requiring specialized knowledge (L-1B); and
- Must be sponsored for an executive, managerial, or specialized position in the U.S.
The Law Offices of Sheila Starkey Hahn, PC welcomes you to contact us for information about how we can assist you with employee visas.