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What is the H-1B Program

The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as science, engineering and information technology.
Cap Amounts
Congress set the current annual cap for the H-1B category at 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrant visas are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements. Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.
When to File an FY 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petition
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2018 cap on April 3, 2017. An employer may file an H-1B petition no more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary.
H-1B Specialty Occupations
The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:
1. Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position.
2. 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.
3. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.
4. 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:
1. Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
2. Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
3. 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.
4. 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.
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