It would be nice to think that if you wanted to live and work in the United States by means of an H1B visa, you could simply fill out an application, wait a week or so, gain approval, then pick up and move to America. If you've ever dealt with U.S. immigration law, in particular the visa process, you likely know that little scenario is typically far from reality. Many people face tremendous challenges when attempting to request lawful entrance to the U.S.
There are several ways to obtain an H1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. Those who wish to participate in this program are permanent residents of other countries who want to temporarily reside and work in the United States. There are other types of non-immigrant visas unrelated to employment, such as when someone wishes to come to the U.S. for medical treatment, as a tourist or on some other temporary basis.
Facts regarding H1B visas may help avoid complications
U.S. immigration law is complex and difficult for the average person with no background in law to understand. If you are not fluent in the English language, even the most minor obstacle may seem a bit overwhelming due to the language barrier. Doing your best to research and seek clarification of the regulations governing the H1B visa program ahead of time may steer you in the right direction and help you avoid trouble. Here are a few basic facts about H1B visas:
- A foreigner cannot apply for this specific visa on their own behalf.
- Since the H1B visa is a work visa, a U.S. company/employer must fill out the application.
- Various qualifications must be met before one is eligible to apply for an H1B visa, including but not limited to holding a bachelor's degree or higher and/or having 12 or more years work experience in the field for which one is applying.
- An H1B visa can be transferred from one sponsor company to another sponsor.
- There are annual quotas associated with the H1B visa program.
If your application for an H1B visa is successful and you work for a time at a particular job in the United States, then lose your position, you can't just go look for another job. You would either have to apply for a change of status or return to your original homeland. Such situations can be quite stressful, and many people in Texas find it's easier to reach out for support than try to go it alone.
An experienced immigration and naturalization law attorney knows the ins and outs of the H1B visa program, or any other non-immigrant issue that may be affecting your status. You can request a meeting with an attorney to seek guidance on how best to proceed in your particular situation.