One of the many benefits that the H1B visa provides is the fact that foreign professionals from all kinds of occupational backgrounds can apply. You don’t necessarily need to be a professor or an IT manager, but your job does need to be considered a “specialty position”. If you are interested in getting an H1B visa this season, then it’s always good to know which occupations qualify asn H1B visa jobs.
The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign professionals to enter the U.S. to work for a limited time. Fortunately, it only requires that you have at least a bachelor’s degree and a U.S. job offer for a specialty position in the same field as your degree.
It is this second requirement that we will be focusing on in this post. This is because your job description can easily determine whether or not the USCIS issues you an RFE or even a denial.
It also stands to reason that the definition for “specialty position” will be heavily refined in the coming year, which may or may not make it more difficult to qualify for an H1B visa. Even though we will be covering the H1B visa jobs in depth, you should always consult your immigration attorney to be sure that your position qualifies.
What is a Specialty Position?
While the H1B allows professionals from many different occupations to apply, most are professionals from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM for short).
A specialty position has been defined as a position that mandates a “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s degree in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”
To break this definition down, a specialty occupation must require a related bachelor’s degree to perform job duties. This can be substituted for relevant work experience where three years of experience equals one year of university-level education.
What are the H1B Job Categories?
Here are the main H1B job categories for specialty categories for the H1B along with some job examples in each field. Notice that this includes not only STEM jobs but also jobs from a variety of different fields.
- IT Manager
- Software Engineer/Developer
- Systems Analyst
- Data Communications and Networking Specialist
Architecture and Engineering
- Aeronautical Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Industrial Engineer
Health and Medicine
- Registered Nurse
Research and Education
- University Professor
- Secondary School Teacher
- Home Economist
- Governmental Researcher
- Educator for People with Disabilities
Business Management and Administration
- Transportation Manager
- Insurance Manager
- Real Estate Manager
- Construction Manager
- Retail Trade Manager
Science and Mathematics
- Agricultural Scientist
- Advertising Manager
- Public Relations Specialist
- Sales Manager
- Budget Management Official
- Political Scientist
It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of possible occupations or H1B job categories that qualify as H1B visa jobs. Work closely with your immigration attorney to decide whether or not your profession falls into this list or may otherwise qualify.
Can I Change My H1B Visa Jobs?
Once you are approved and have entered the U.S. through your sponsoring employer, the H1B allows for quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to portability and mobility, giving you the freedom to apply for an H1B job change. As long as your job maintains the requirements of a relevant specialty position, you will be able to change not only your job but your employer as well.
If you are remaining with the same employer and are being promoted or moved to a different department, you will need to speak with your attorney to make sure that your new job still requires your particular degree. If you are changing employers, then the same is true. You will, however, need to have your new employer file a new I-129 petition on your behalf.
Are There Salary Requirements for H1B Visa Jobs?
Before an employer can sponsor you for an H1B, they will need to first obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) for you. Part of the LCA process involved determining the prevailing wage for the job that you will be doing in relation to the area that the job is located.
Once the prevailing wage has been determined, your employer must pay you at least the listed amount. Therefore, there is a minimum job salary requirement. However, you do not need to be making a certain salary in your home country in order to qualify.
It is important to note that, under the Trump administration, there may be major changes coming to the H1B visa program in the next year. One of the changes that have been considered is changing the lottery system to one that gives priority to applicants who are receiving higher salaries.
Because the competition is so high for this visa, this strategy would effectively disqualify any applicants who are making less than the average for all H1B beneficiaries. However, this has not been implemented and is subject to change. If this alteration concerns you, speak with your immigration attorney to have your questions answered fully.
What to do after the loss of H1B Visa Jobs
If your employer terminates your employment or is otherwise unable to pay you and you suddenly find yourself without a job, it can have serious consequences on your status. In the past, you would have been required to leave the country immediately.
However, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Register implemented a final rule in January of 2017 that grants a 60-day grace period to any H1B holder who experiences a job loss. This two-month period can be used to find a new sponsoring employer, change your status to a different work visa, or settle your affairs before leaving the country.
If you overstay this 60-day period, you will be considered “out of status”, which can have serious consequences on your ability to return to the U.S. under a different visa. If you have experienced an H1B job loss, consult your immigration attorney to learn what your options are.
How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help
No matter what you are doing in the immigration world, it is always a good idea to have an expert on hand to answer all of your questions and to address every issue that may arise. When it comes to determining whether or not a position qualifies as a specialty position, there is no alternative better than having an immigration attorney at your side.
Here at SGM Law Group, our attorneys are experts at all things concerning the H1B visa. From choosing a sponsoring employer to filing your petition in a way that highlights the “specialty” nature of your position, our H1B lawyers are here to help you.
If you would like to get in touch with one of our attorneys for help with your H1B visa jobs or application, please fill out this contact form to see if your qualify for one of our free consultations today.