What is an H-1B visa?

Original Author: Maria Aquila

The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa available for an individual qualified as a professional who is hired to work in a specialty professional occupation. This visa is popular because the term professional has been defined loosely to include many individuals with a bachelor's degree (although not all degrees qualify for the H-1B). An advantage of this visa is that it has a lengthy duration of initially three years, but it may be renewed for an additional three years for a maximum of six years.

The H-1B visa is available to a graduate of a foreign university provided the degree is equated to that of a US degree. This visa is also available to an individual without a degree, as long as that person has experience in the field and the offered position is professional in nature. The H-1B visa is available for a wide range of activities, as long as it is demonstrated to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that the duties require a minimum of a four year degree (or its equivalent) to perform.