Non-Immigrant: H-1B Visa - Temporary Worker


The H-1B visa is a temporary employment visa allowing the alien to work in the United States for a specified employer. This visa is given to qualified individuals in a "Specialty Occupation". It is usually given for a period of up to three years at a time (maximum), and the alien cannot exceed six years maximum on H-1B status.

Accordingly, the H-1B visa allows employers to hire qualified foreign individuals, including foreign students studying in the United States. Similarly, foreign students studying in the United States can adjust their status from F-1 to H-1B while in the United States.

There are three steps to receiving an H-1B visa. Firstly, the employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor in the region the alien will work. The employer must show that the salary the alien will be paid is not lower than the prevailing wage for the occupation, thus ensuring that American workers are not undermined.

Secondly, upon approval of the LCA from the Department of Labor, a petition is filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service for the approval of the H-1B petition. Once this is approved, the alien is authorized for employment. Finally, the alien, if outside the country, is interviewed at the Consulate and if accepted, granted a visa. If the alien is in the United States in a legal status (such as B1/B2, L1, L2, H-4 and F-1), their status is adjusted within the United States.


An American company must file a petition with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to sponsor a foreign national to work in a "specialty occupation". The petition is filed by the employer, not the prospective employee. This petition is made on Form I-129 and H-Supplement accompanied by the certified LCA and supporting documentation.

Specialty Occupation
In order to be eligible for H-1B status, the position has to be one which requires specialized knowledge. This is most often evidenced by the requirement that the individual have the equivalent of an U.S. bachelor's degree in the field of the occupation.

Should you wish for our office to assit you with the H-1B Visa process, the employer and employee both need to complete questionnaires which may be found here:

Then, the appropriate documentation as required on each page should be faxed to 248-865-3323 or to the attorney assigned to draft your application. With employer authorization, we will process your case accordingly.

Accompanying Family (H-4 Visa)

Accompanying family members (spouse and children) will be issued an H-4 visa. The family requires a valid passport(s) and proof of relationship with the principle applicant. Should the family not be applying for their visa at the consulate at the same time as the student or not be adjusting status from within the United States, they will also require a copy of the principle applicant's approved H-1 visa, his I-94 card and a recent letter from the employer of the H-1 beneficiary indicating that he is currently employed with the company per the terms of the H-1 visa.