The H Visa is designed for temporary immigrant workers who wish to work in the United States. There are several types of H Visas available depending on the type of work that you will be performing. In addition, family members including spouses and dependent children can also obtain H Visas.
H-1 B Visa
The H-1B Visa is for workers who perform specialty occupations. The specialty occupation requires the application of a specialized body of knowledge with at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Many types of jobs fit into this category including medicine, health, engineering, physical science, mathematics, social sciences, education, business, accounting, law, theology, and architecture, as well as others.
The applicant for an H-1B Visa must have a college or university degree or equivalent work experience in their specialty field. The H-1B Visa is designed for foreign professionals with specialized knowledge in their field. There are several requirements for obtaining an H1B Visa:
- Applicant must be able to perform services in a specialty occupation for which he or she has received a college degree.
- May be granted based on reciprocity to perform services relating to a cooperative research project or under a governmental agreement
The H-1C Visa is a visa for nurses who want to work in areas where there is a specific shortage of skilled workers. There are only 500 H-1C visas issued annually. Once the allotted number of visas has been granted, no further H-1C visas will be granted until the next calendar year. Each H-1C visa is valid for three years and can’t be extended. Nurses who wish to apply for an H-1C visa must be licensed or must have obtained a nursing degree in the United States and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Many nurses choose to apply for a nurse green card instead.
The H-2A Visa is for people who will be temporary seasonal farm workers. The visa is issued for an initial period of one year but may be extended for up to a total of three years. Foreign workers in the agricultural field who will work for U.S. companies on a temporary basis may apply for the H-2A Visa. These types of visas are limited to nationals from countries with a current treaty with the U.S. The applicant must show that the proposed employment is seasonal or temporary.
The H-2 B Visa is for individuals who will be employed in seasonal positions that are non-agricultural. The employment may be temporary, seasonal, intermittent, or one-time. Some of the most common types of temporary employment include resort workers, landscape workers, travel agents, restaurant workers, and amusement park workers. U.S. companies may hire foreign nationals with H-2B Visas when no U.S. workers are available to fill the positions. The H-2B Visa is available to nationals of specific countries that are part of a treaty. Check with your attorney to determine which countries are covered under this visa.
The H-3 Visa is for individuals coming to the U.S. to take part in a training program. To qualify for an H-3 Visa the applicant must show:
- The specific training is not available in the applicant’s home country’
- The applicant cannot take part in the normal business operation of the company
- The training will be of benefit to the applicant for a career in his/her home country
The H-3 Visa is designed for those individuals who wish to participate in training that is not available in his/her home country. The applicant is considered a trainee and enters the U.S. at the invitation of a company or individual for the sole purpose of taking part in training. This type of visa is not to be used for graduate medical training.
The H-4 Visa is a special H Visa designation for the children and spouse of an H Visa applicant. The visas are granted for the spouse as well as dependant, unmarried children under the age of 21. The H-4 Visa does not allow for the applicant to work in the United States. The family members are granted the H-4 visa only for the duration of the H Visa holder’s stay.