H-1B Visa FAQ

General H-1B Visa Frequently Asked Questions:

I would like to work in the U.S. Can I apply for the H-1B visa by myself, without an employer?

No. You must have a legitimate job offer from a U.S. company or organization.

I have an Associates (2 year) Degree and 1 year of work experience as a Programmer Analyst. Do I qualify for the H-1B visa?

No. You must have at least a U.S. Bachelor (4-year) Degree or it’s equivalent.

3 years of work experience is equivalent to 1 year of University. So, if you have 6 years of work experience and 2 years of college, you could qualify.

The Degree and work experience should be directly relevant to your job title.

You will also want to have your credentials evaluated by a professional evaluation agency to verify to the USCIS that you possess the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor Degree. We use and recommend Trustforte Corporation.

How does the H-1B visa quota system work?

Each October 1st, the USCIS makes available a certain number of H-1B visas for the following 12 months.

The Quota for this Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 is 65,000. There is also a quota of 20,000 for US Master Degree Holders, effectively making the quota 85,000.

The earliest you can apply for the H-1B Visa is 6 months before the requested start date. For example you may file on 4/1/2017 for a 10/1/2017 start date.

H-1B visa holders are not subject to the quota when applying for a transfer to another company or an extension with the same company.

I have a job offer as a Teacher with a Public School System. Are school systems subject to the annual quota?

Only if the school district has an approved H-1B petition based on the University affiliation cap exemption after 2006.

Please click here for more details on obtaining an H-1B visa for a public school teacher.

Employer H-1B Visa Frequently Asked Questions:

Is any provision made for continuity of H-1B validity in corporate restructuring situations?

Yes. An amended H-1B petition is not required where a new corporate entity succeeds to the interests and obligations of the original employer, and where the terms and conditions of employment remain the same.

How would an employer under the section 105 portability provisions fulfill the I-9 verification requirement?

The situation here is analogous to the 240-day grace period of 8 C.F.R. section 274A.12(b)(20), which authorizes employment with the same employer for up to 240 days after an extension petition is filed.

In both circumstances, the employment is authorized but there is no provision on the I-9 form for the documentation of this fact. Thus, employers may want to follow whatever documentation procedures they use for the 240-day grace period.

F-1 Student Visa / OPT Holder H-1B Visa Frequently Asked Questions:

I am an F-1 student working in my OPT (Optional Practical Training) for an insurance company as an Accounts Payable Supervisor. Do I qualify for an H-1B Visa?

It may be difficult. The USCIS will want to see evidence that the job duties require at least a Bachelor Degree in Accounting.

Your employer will want to gather evidence that other employees in the same position in your company and industry hold at least a Bachelor Degree in Accounting.

Your employer will also want to show the USCIS copies of Internal Job Postings and Help Wanted Advertisements that display the requirement of at least a Bachelor Degree in Accounting.

I am currently on OPT and it will end on June 30 2012. If an employer files for the H-1B Visa for me on or after 4/1/2017, can I still stay legally in the US until 10/1/2017 when my H-1B visa starts?

Yes, please click here for the OPT “Cap Gap” rule.

H-1B Visa Holder Frequently Asked Questions

I am working in H-1B Status for a University (cap exempt). Can I transfer to a for-profit company (cap subject) and be exempt from the quota?

No, but there is another option. You may file a concurrent H-1B Visa with the for-profit company while maintaining your University H-1B Visa. In this scenario, you are able to start work for the for-profit company immediately after filing the petition with USCIS.

Under the terms of the H-1B visa may I go on a leave of absence? Will my visa become invalid or will I be able to return and continue working for my original employer?

Yes, you may take a paid or unpaid leave of absence. At the end of your leave of absence you may return to work for your original employer in the US as long as your H-1B Visa has not expired.

I was on an H-1B visa with company A and got laid off on September 9th, I applied for H-4 before September 9th and got it approved recently. My question is its already been 60 days since my termination and now I have a H-4, so can I apply for the H-1B with a different company, and am I subject to the annual quota?

You will be able to apply for an H-1B visa immediately, and start work as soon as it is approved. You will not be subject to the annual quota since you were previously in H-1B status and have not left the US for over 1 year.

Do H-1B Visa Holders have to pay taxes?

The H-1B visa holder is subject to withholding of Social Security (FICA) tax as well as federal and state income taxes. H-1B visa holders are taxed as “resident aliens”, on their worldwide income and may claim deductions for family members.

My company is laying off workers and I feel that I may be laid off soon, what should I do?

The USCIS considers H-1B Visa holders to be out of status once their employment ends, unless the H-1B holder has filed a petition to transfer their visa to another company or another type of visa (example: F-1 Student Visa, B-2 Tourist Visa, etc.). There have been rumors that the H-1B holder has 10 days or 30 days after they are laid off to file a transfer petition. This is not true, however the USCIS has stated they are taking into account the current economic slowdown into account when adjudicating H-1B Transfers. We recommend filing for a change of status to the B-2 Tourist Visa immediately. This will allow you to remain in status in the US as a Visitor while you either find another job, go back to school, or prepare to leave the US. Click here for details on applying for the B-2 Visa.

I currently hold an H-1B visa with company A. Company B wants to hire me. What do I do?

Company B must file a petition to transfer your H-1B visa to their company. You may work for Company B immediately after the petition is filed with the USCIS. This change can be found in Section 105 of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act.

I am an H-1B visa holder and I just got married. My wife and her 12 year old son are in Mumbai. What do I need to do to get them over here?

First of all, congratulations. Your wife and her son will need to go to the nearest American Consulate with the following documents: Their passports, the son’s birth certificate, a copy of your marriage certificate, a letter from your employer stating that you currently work there, and a copy of your H-1B visa and / or approval notice.

Upon presenting these documents to the Consular Officer, he will stamp their passports with the H-4 visa and they will be free to travel to the U.S. to live with you.

The H-4 will be valid as long as your current H-1B visa is valid.

I am an H-1B visa holder and my first 3-year duration is going to expire in 3 months. My employer is filing an extension for me. Do I have to file a separate extension for my wife and child’s H-4 visa?

Yes you do. Use USCIS Form I-539.

You may use the same form for all of your H-4 dependents. You may file it with the H-1B extension petition or after (as long as you include a copy of the I-797 Filing Receipt from your H-1B extension petition).

If you have a general question about the H-1B visa please complete and submit the form below and we will do our best to answer it.

You can also follow us on facebook as we usually post the answers there.

Your First and Last Name (required)

Your Email (required)

I am an:

My status is:

Notes / Message/ Question

Related Links:
H1B Visa Cap / Quota for FY 2018
H-1B Visa Renewal / Extension
H-1B Visa Transfer
Amended H-1B Visa
New H-1B Visa, Cap Exempt
H-1B Visa for Entrepreneurs
H-1B Visa for Teachers
H-1B Visa Attorney Fee
H-1B Visa Complete Do it Yourself Kit

Client Reviews

I've had the pleasure of conducting business with this law firm for the last 10 years. They have been nothing but the best for every aspect of immigration need I had. From F1 all the way to citizenship. They're probably the most affordable, knowledgeable, and most efficient immigration law firm out there. Plus, they always provide responses to questions in a very timely manner. Trust me, other immigration law firms will cost you an arm and a leg for the same or less of a service compared to this law firm. Give them a call, check out their website. You will not regret it.
Andy Glasgow
Andy Glasgow
17:26 27 Mar 17
Because of John and his team my wife and I were able to travel back to the states, get married and have a Green Card without any headaches. John’s efforts were amazing and it shows because my wife and I didn’t have to go to the Green card interview. We had a strong enough case to receive the Green card in the mail. If you’re seeking a Lawyer that will be impartial, he’s your guy.
T M
T M
19:18 23 Feb 17
Me & husband went through immigration process which thankfully was made easy with the help and services of Marc Tyler Inc. Our direct contact was John which i want to personally say Thank You ! The service provided was efficient, fast, affordable prompt answers in a timely fashion. I would recommend Marc Tyler Inc to anyone who need immigration done fast, easy, friendly & with no hidden charges.
Aleksandra Stoycheva
Aleksandra Stoycheva
15:27 26 Jan 17
I could not have asked for better service. I will definitely be coming back to get the green card process done. The fees are extremely reasonable and they stick with their clients the entire way. I had so many questions during this process, and each one of them were answered very quickly and with out most professionalism. This firm is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone.
bryan mowrey
bryan mowrey
06:41 25 Nov 16
Marc and John Dorer worked on our case to file for AOS after our L1A was approved.Marc and John are professionals and extremely reasonable-priced. The reason they are able to cut the price is because they don't spend time consulting you or guiding you and will never get on call.All communications are email only, so if you know precisely what you want they will do all the paper-work, follow the trail and get the job done. If you are confused and need advice and consulting, they may not be the right lawyers.But since we were doing our AOS, it worked out perfectly well and they did their job extremely professionally.Would recommend them every time to get the work done.
hardik parikh
hardik parikh
01:58 08 Feb 17
At first I thought I could have very well gone through the green card application process on my own and saved all lawyer fees. Its funny how some lawyers can charge in excess of 2K for this. However at Taylor and Associates the price seemed more reasonable and felt it made sense to go with one at that price. There were some doubts that arose in our mind which they cleared in a timely manner and seemed very knowledgeable in this area. Its for moments like these when having a professional around helps. While we can get busy with our lives and with laws constantly changing, I would definitely recommend them - a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Callistus Pereira
Callistus Pereira
17:51 06 Jun 17
I am US citizen. We hired Marc's firm for my wife's Green Card process, We are extremely happy with their services.They are one of the best service providers in the country. Price is very affordable. John is awesome. He responded to our queries on time with very useful information. We highly recommend this firm to anybody looking for affordable and the best immigration services. it was an awesome experience working with this team.
Narsimha M
Narsimha M
13:57 04 Aug 17
Mark and team went above all my expectations of an 'online' service agency I went in with very low expectations to match the low cost of the service and was amazed that the experience was no different than going through an expensive attorney. They were very prompt on responses, very patient and also very knowledgeable on every facet of the application (including a follow up checklist). I would highly recommend them considering the low cost they charge and the high risk we take by doing this ourselves
First Dhalsite
First Dhalsite
22:27 01 Sep 17
USVISANOW streamlined the paperwork which saved us so much time. This also reduced the stress involved in filling out the paperwork. They also are very understanding and respond very quickly to questions and emails. Jackline is now a US citizen which took less than 5 months. Thank you Mr. Taylor and your team. From Brian and Jacky.
Jackline Osero
Jackline Osero
17:32 12 Sep 17
The best law agency I have ever worked with. Very responsive, experienced. I trusted my green process to them and it was done perfectly without and issues in minimum possible period. Thank You Very much Marc, John and others!!!
Hrach Gyulzadyan
Hrach Gyulzadyan
16:38 30 Sep 17
My husband and I worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylor's office, and his services exceeded our expectations. He was very knowledgeable, responsive, and our Green Card process and interview from start to finish went smoothly. Thank you so much, John, for your dedication to our case and all your help. I would highly recommend USAVISANOW to all!
Sophia Nguyen
Sophia Nguyen
17:26 09 Oct 17
Marc and John helped me apply and get my green card. They are very specific about needed documents and other details. Also, they are very responsive when you have a question. I know I emailed them several times just to ask questions that I could have found answers online myself. They are very patient and professional. If you want to get great services with reasonable fees contact them!
Amin Bagheri
Amin Bagheri
11:54 12 Oct 17

Read More Client Reviews