This status is a temporary employment status available to individuals coming to the United States temporarily to perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is defined as “an occupation that requires (A) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and (B) attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalents) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United states.” INA 214(1); 8USC 1184(1).
If the job does not require the application of a specialized body of knowledge, the H-1B petition will be denied even if the foreign national holds a specialized degree.
Many positions at colleges and universities do not qualify, since they may not require a degree in the field. However, for most faculty and research positions, H-1B status is appropriate.
H-1B status is used to employ qualified foreign nationals in specialty occupations temporarily for a period of up to a total maximum of six years.
Does the Foreign National Qualify for the H-1B Status?
H-1B specialty workers are international visitors who have the skills and experience of a special nature that require at least a bachelor’s degree. At U.S. Colleges and Universities H-1B specialty workers are employed in many positions including: Professors, Computer Programmers and Accountants.
The application process for hiring an international visitor on an H-1B visa status is a cooperative effort between the hiring department, the Human Resources Office and the H-1B beneficiary. Normal processing time is 60 to 90 days. We recommend that you start the process whether a new hire or filing an extension, five to six months ahead of time. This will ensure that the international visitor will begin employment as anticipated.