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H-1B Visas for Specialty Occupations

Individuals looking to provide services in a “specialty occupation”, work as a renowned fashion model, or to provide services to a cooperative research and development project pertaining to the Department of Defense (DOD) have the option to apply for an H-1B Specialty Occupation. H-1B visas may be used by software developers, engineers, accountants, lawyers, and many other types of professional positions.  

Those eligible to apply must have training or experience and at the minimum a bachelor degree or the equivalent to a bachelor's degree. The job they are applying to must also require these credentials in order to qualify as a specialty occupation. For individuals wishing to apply under the fashion model category a level of prominence, distinguished merit, and ability in the industry is required in order to qualify. 

​The H-1B visa has a visa cap of 65,000. Those who are eligible and are issued a visa have the possibility to be admitted into the United States for up to three years. Extensions are available for your period of stay, but only up to a total of six years. Only those who meet the guidelines of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act are exempt to the six year limit. Those looking to seek admission for their spouse and children under 21 years of age during their stay in the United States can apply for them under the H-1B non immigrant classification. Certain spouses under the H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non immigrants are eligible to apply for work authorization.   

When filing a H-1B visa employers are responsible of filing an LCA and paying applicants the actual or prevailing wage for their occupation, whichever is higher. ​In the case of termination of the H-1Bs employment by the employer before the end of their authorized period of stay the employer is held responsible to cover the costs of the H-1B applicants return transportation home. If you are an H-1B applicant and have reasons to believe your employer did not comply with this requirement contact the Service Center that initially approved your petition. 

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​"The USCIS stated that fee increases will be introduced in order to recover costs for their services and to maintain 'adequate' service. However, many have said that current service levels are inadequate. Despite US Congress authorizing USCIS processing timelines as part of the American Competitiveness of the 21st Century Act of 2000 (AC21), 16 years later USCIS fails to meet the standards set by law on a consistent basis....

For US visa applications using Form I-129, which is used to file for the most common US work visas including the H-1B professional level specialty workers visa, L-1 intra-company transfer visas, E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visas, O-1 extraordinary ability visas fees will increase by 42 percent."

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