Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
on H1-B

H-1B is an employment-based, employer-sponsored nonimmigrant status that allows a non-citizen immigrant to work within the United States for up to six years who lives within or outside of the USA. The six-year period can be extended incrementally if the employee has an approved I-140. There are different categories of H-1B; Regular Cap, H-1B Masters Cap, and H-1B Cap Exempt. To apply for the H-1B visa, you must have an employer willing to sponsor your petition. It is also known as 'H-1B specialty occupation', meaning you must have the educational background and/or specialized knowledge and skills in the related field to qualify for the position.

You must have at least a Bachelorette Degree to be eligible for applying for an H-1B visa. The degree can be outside of the USA, such as an accredited degree from anywhere in the world that will qualify for the position. However, an advanced degree (Master's or Ph.D.) may be necessary, depending on the position you are applying for.

The answer is No. Your community college degree is not complete until you complete your associate degree from an associated university. So, technically it will not qualify for the position.

A broad range of professional occupations qualifies for H-1B status. Generally, professional-level occupations and academic in engineering, biological, physical, social sciences, mathematics, and business administration will be eligible for H-1B.

H-1B status is available to a person who has been offered a temporary professional position by a U.S. employer. A bachelor's degree or higher in a related area is the minimum educational level required for a position to qualify for H-1B status, and the H-1B employee must have the degree (or higher) normally required for such position.

Not necessarily. The job itself must require a bachelor's degree or higher in a specialized field. Or your employment experiences in the related field can be an asset too. You must then have (speciality occupation related) degree to qualify for H-1B status.

The first step is getting a job offer from a US-based company. The second step is to apply for the H-1B registration or lottery. The third step follows only if you get selected in the H-1B Registration process. After getting selected, employer needs to apply for the H1B petition.


There are two steps in the H-1B petition:

i) Application for the Labor Condition Application, and

ii) application for I-129.

Usually, USCIS announces the H1B registration dates every year, which is approximately the first day of March and closes on March 18. However, it can vary. Please follow the USCIS website for the latest updates. If you are selected, you can start the H1B petition from April 1 till June 30 to submit your petition. Within this time period, you need a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) (a required step for the H1B petition), which might take 5-7 business days. Once you completely submit your petition, it may take 4 to 6 months (15 working days for premium processing) for the USCIS to approve the petition. So, the entire time period is usually March 1, to October 1.

H1B registration fee is only $10. But if you hire an attorney, the charge varies and depends on the attorney. For the H1B petition after the registration selection, the employer must pay USCIS fees such as $460 for I-129, $500 for Fraud Detection and Prevention fee, and $750/$1500 for ACWIA. For the application fee calculation, please follow the USCIS website. Along with that, you also need to pay the attorney fees as required.

Yes, there are certain wage levels determined by the Department of Labor (DOL) for every ZIP code area in the U.S. It depends on your place of employment. So, the employer hiring an H-1B worker must have documentation to prove and then must certify to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that it will pay the H-1B employee the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher. The prevailing wage is determined by the DOL for every wage level that your employer is willing to hire you. The rule is that your employer must pay you either the same as the prevailing wage or higher, but it can never be less. The employer makes these declarations, under penalty of perjury, by submitting to DOL for certification a form called a "Labor Condition Application" (LCA).

Feb. 22: Petitioners and registrants can begin creating H-1B registrant accounts at noon Eastern.


March 1: H-1B registration period opens at noon EST.


March 18: H-1B registration period closes at noon EST.


March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.


April 1: The earliest date that FY H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed.


June 30: The last date to submit your final H-1B, I-129 petition.

A certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from DOL, supporting documents to prove that they can bear the wage of the employee, i.e., annual reports, financial statements, marketing documents of the company, and Form I-129, and G-28,  signed by the authorized signatory of the employer.

Yes, you can. In that case, the employer must file Form I-907 along with I-129, G-28, and G-1145. The I-907 premium processing filing fee is $2500 for the FY 2022-2023. It may vary every year. For the update, please follow the USCIS website.

The cap refers to the limit of H-1B visas allowed per federal fiscal year (FY). A fiscal year begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th of the following year. Current regulations set the cap at 65,000 H-1B visas for the entire country. To check the latest cap and count, please visit the USCIS website.  There is also an exemption from the annual cap for the first 20,000 new H-1B beneficiaries who have earned a Master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.

Universities and related nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations, and government research organizations are exempt from the cap. These employers are able to submit an H-1B application to the USCIS at any time during the year without concern for the fiscal year limit. They do not need H1B registration selection. However, a person who works for an H-1B cap-exempt employer who changes jobs to an employer that is not exempt may become subject to the H-1B cap and have to go through the H1B registration process to change the employer who does not qualify under the Cap exempt rules.

Yes, an employer can apply for the H-1B on your behalf while you are residing outside of the U.S. Once you get an approved I-129, you can apply for the H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your residing country and enter the U.S. in that status.

Yes. It definitely can.

Yes, you can. However, there is a fine line. H-1B is an employer-specific status. It permits an H-1B status holder to work only for the employer that filed the petition. If you decide to change employers, the new employer must apply for the H-1B on your behalf. This is called H1B Transfer. Your employer must have a certified LCA and file the I-129, G-28, and G-1145 like a new petition.


The H-1B is also position-specific. Therefore, if your H-1 B employer wishes to significantly change your job duties or other conditions of employment after securing approval of your H-1B petition, the employer must submit an amended petition to the USCIS. In both of these cases, under certain conditions, you MAY be eligible to be paid in the new position after the employer has received the USCIS receipt notice for the H-1B petition (this is called "H-1B portability").

From leaving your current employer to joining a future job, you have a 60 days time period, which is known as the "Grace period." The 60 days time period timer begins the day you leave your current job. The new application must be received by the USCIS within this grace period.

No, you can start working any day within these 60 days grace period (after a petition is properly filed to and received by the USCIS). Therefore, you do not need an approved H-1B transfer to get paid. Your employer can issue your paycheck from the date of Form I-129 receipt notice from the USCIS.

You may be eligible for other types of nonimmigrant (temporary) status that would allow you to work in the United States, such as the treaty/trader investment classifications, the TN status for Canadian or Mexican citizens, the J-1 exchange visitor status, the E-3 status for Australian citizens, or the O-1. An immigration attorney can advise you about the eligibility requirements for these immigration categories

From the registration to the approval of Form I-129, H-1B is a very complicated and delicate process. You may apply for the registration by yourself/company, but you must need an attorney to guide you while applying for the H-1B petition. An attorney can help you, and the employer presents the best case for approval of the H-1B status application to the USCIS. However, an attorney cannot guarantee the success of an H-1B application, nor can an attorney obtain an H-1B for an unqualified person. In many cases, an attorney may be able to determine in advance whether or not your position and credentials would qualify for an H-1B.

Dependents of H-1B status holders (legal spouse and children under age 21) can apply for H-4 status. H-4 status holders are eligible to work  and study except in limited situations. For more information, please visit the USCIS website(link is external).