H-1B SPECIALTY OCCUPATIONS

Individuals can come to the United States to be employees for U.S. companies. These individuals have a speciality occupation or degree.

The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position
The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.*
For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation
Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.**
Yes. The prospective employer must file an approved Form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Application (LCA), with the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. See the links to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification and USCIS forms to the right.

For more information see the “Information for Employers & Employees” page.

H-1B2

DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker

The job must meet both of the following criteria to qualify as a DOD cooperative research and development project:

The cooperative research and development project or a co-production project is provided for under a government-to-government agreement administered by the U.S. Department of Defense
A bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent is required to perform duties.
To be eligible for this visa category you must meet one of the following criteria:

Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation
Hold an unrestricted State license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.**
No.

H-1B3

Fashion Model

The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence.

To be eligible for this visa category you must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

H-2A TEMPORARY AGRICULTURAL WORKERS

A U.S. employee can request a foreign national for a U.S. agriculture position. This position is seasonal or temporary. The H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. A U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or an association of U.S. agricultural producers named as a joint employer must file a Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, on a prospective worker’s behalf.

H-2B TEMPORARY NON-AGRICULTURAL WORKERS

The H-2B program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. A U.S. employer, or U.S. agent must file Form I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Worker on behalf of a prospective employee.

 

H-3 VISA

Allows for foreign nationals to temporarily come to the United States as either a:

  • Trainee – to receive training in the U.S. in any field of endeavor, that is not available in the foreign national’s home country, exceptions are graduate medical education or training
  • Special Education Exchange Visitor – to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities

Trainees
An H-3 “trainee” must be invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training, in any field including but not limited to:

Agriculture
Commerce
Communications
Finance
Government
Transportation
Other Professions
This classification is not intended for U.S. employment. It is designed to provide a foreign national with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the United States.

In order to obtain H-3 classification, a U.S. employer or organization must demonstrate that:

The proposed training is not available in the foreign national’s native country;
The foreign national will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which U.S. citizens and resident workers are regularly employed;
The foreign national will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training; and
The training will benefit the beneficiary in pursuing a career outside the United States.
Each H-3 petition for a trainee must include a statement that:

Describes the type of training and supervision to be given, and the structure of the training program;
Sets the proportion of time that will be devoted to productive employment;
Shows the number of hours that will be spent, respectively, in classroom instruction and in on –the-job training;
Describes the career abroad for which the training will prepare the foreign national;
Indicates the reasons why such training cannot be obtained in the foreign national’s country and why it is necessary for the foreign national to be trained in the United States; and
Indicates the source of any remuneration received by the trainee and any benefit which will accrue to the employer/organization for providing the training.
A training program may not be approved which:

Deals in generalities with no fixed schedule, objectives or means of evaluation;
Is incompatible with the nature of the petitioner’s business or enterprise;
Is on behalf of a foreign national who already possess substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training;
Is in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States;
Will result in productive employment beyond that which is incidental and necessary to the training;
Is designed to recruit and train foreign nationals for the ultimate staffing of domestic operations in the United States;
Does not establish that the petitioner has the physical plant and sufficiently trained manpower to provide the training specified; or
Is designed to extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized a nonimmigrant student.
Special Education Exchange Visitor
There is a numerical limit (or “cap”) on the number of H-3 special education exchange visitors. No more than 50 may be approved in a fiscal year.

A petition requesting an H-3 “special education exchange visitor” must be filed by a facility which has professionally trained staff and a structured program for providing education to children with disabilities, and for providing training and hands-on experience to participants in the special education exchange visitor program. It should include a description of:

The training the foreign national will receive;
The facility’s professional staff; and
The foreign national’s participation in the training program.
In addition, the petition must show that the special education exchange visitor is:

Nearing the completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree program in special education; or
Has already earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in special education; or
Has extensive prior training and experience teaching children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.
Note: Any custodial care of children must be incidental to the foreign national’s training.

Application Process
In order to obtain H-3 classification, the U.S. employer or organization must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petition must be filed with the information provided above.

Period of Stay
If the petition is approved, the trainee may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to 2 years. If the trainee petition is approved for a special education exchange visitor, the trainee may remain in the United States for up to 18 months.

Family of H-3 Visa Holders
Trainees’ spouses and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany them to the United States as H-4 nonimmigrants. However, H-4 nonimmigrants are not permitted to work in the United States.

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