The H Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to work and stay temporarily in the United States. In order to apply for this type of visa, a qualified U.S. employer must file a nonimmigrant petition on behalf of the foreign national with the USCIS. Spouses and minor children may also qualify for the dependent nonimmigrant visa and may stay in the U.S. for the same duration as the H visa worker.
The H-1B visa is for workers who are employed in a “specialty occupation” by a U.S. employer. Eligible applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree or professional experience, which is equivalent to the degree. The visa is issued to engineers, accountants, scientists, architects, teachers, professors, management consultants, market research analysts, physical therapists, and fashion models with “distinguished merit and ability.” The annual cap of the H-1B visa is 65,000. However, it is further reduced by the numbers available for the H1B1 visa for nationals of Chile and Singapore. Specifically, 1,400 H1B1 visa numbers are available for Chileans, while 5,400 are set aside for Singaporean nationals.
The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to petition skilled or unskilled foreign nationals to work in the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs. In order to qualify for this visa, a job offer for a position for which there is a shortage of qualified U.S. workers, must first be established. The H-2B petitioners must then provide a single valid temporary labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or, if the workers will be employed in Guam, from the Guam Department of Labor (Guam DOL). The qualified applicant must be able to show that he/she fully intends to return to his/her home country at the end of the approved stay. A numerical limit of 66,000 for H-2B workers is currently set by Congress for each fiscal year.
The H-3 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa issued to individuals who are coming to the U.S. temporarily to participate in a training program either as a:
• Trainee to receive training in a U.S. company, in any field of endeavor, other than graduate medical education or training, that is not available in the foreign national’s home country.
• Special Education Exchange Visitor to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that provides practical training and experience in educating children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.
H-3 Visa is not intended for U.S. employment. It is designed to equip the foreign national with job-related training for employment that will ultimately be performed in his/her home country.