Competition for H1B visas is always tough. Every year, there are plenty of people who want to move to the USA and make their American dream come alive. However, to better your chances, you must understand all of the requirements for an H1B visa application.
Every year, the federal government provides 65,000 slots under the H1B visa scheme. An extra 20,000 slots are made available to cater for exemptions. Some of the exemptions include NGOs affiliated with institutions of higher learning, government organizations, and non-profit research bodies.
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H1B Visa Processing Times
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is responsible for handling all immigration services to any individual who wants to move to the US either on a temporary or permanent basis. Visa processing times vary depending on various factors, but on average it may take anywhere from four to eight months.
Some of the factors that may affect the processing times include the workload at your USCIS center, the application cap window, and your LCA (Labor Condition Application) approval. In most cases, LCA approval takes no more than seven working days.
Experts recommend consulting immigration to find out more about how long it may take to get your H1B visa application approved. Moreover, your employer can hasten the process through premium processing.
Expedited or premium H1B visa processing takes around 15 days after submission. However, you need to pay $1,225 USD, which is refundable if your application doesn’t go through.
Why Do You Need an H1B Visa?
The H1B visa is the document that allows employers to hire non-immigrant workers. Most of these workers are for specialty jobs such as modelling where proven experience is required. Through the H1B visa, the employees can live and work in the US, albeit temporarily.
Having an H1B visa can help you get permanent residency if you meet the required eligibility criteria. For starters, the H1B visa allows you to stay and work in the USA for three years. However, you can extend your stay by another three years after a successful extension petition.
After your six years have elapsed, you may become eligible for a US Green Card.
Extending Your H1B Visa
After the first three have passed, your employer can petition on your behalf to have your stay extended. It is always wise to make the petition six months before your visa expires to avoid a last-minute rush.
There are a couple of documents that you need to deliver when making the extension application. You need your original H1B visa and US passport, CV, a letter from your employer or proof of payments, for example pay slips, your degree certificate, and the arrival/departure form showing that your departure date hasn’t passed.
It can take four to seven months to approve your H1B visa extension. Nonetheless, you can try using premium processing if it is urgent.
H1B visa processing times vary depending on various factors. Ensure that you do your research to find a USCIS center in your region that is the least busy to reduce processing times. Premium processing is also a good option if you don’t want to wait or your application is urgent.
Also read – Top 100 Companies offering job & H1B visa.