The overview of H-1B and the lottery process involved.

What an H 1B for a layman mean? It is a lawful method to bring foreign born professional temporarily to United States citizen. It is practically the most widely required visa for anyone seeking employment in the United States. An individual can work for a maximum of six years on this visa status. However the petition is not granted for more than three years at one shot. An extension is required if a person is already on a H1B status and employment requires longer stay. In certain circumstances, extension beyond six years is also possible. The petition can be requested by the employer and not by individuals or self employed people.

The H 1B is generally the most common immigration option that a business or company considers when it has a requirement to hire a foreign national for a relevant position as per the matching qualifications. But not all can apply and get a visa of this kind as there is a general limit on number of H1B visas approved in a year. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is the governing body which looks into all the requests and petitions and approve an employer’s request if the job fits the law’s definition of a speciality occupation. This means a job that requires the theoretical and practical application of a person of highly specialized knowledge to perform the occupation and a minimum bachelor’s degree or higher for an entry into the occupation in United States.

Only a U.S. employer may file an H1B petition with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). An employer is defined as an entity if it has an internal Revenue Service Tax Identification Number and that engages a person to work within the U.S. and also has an employer and employee mutual relationship that allows the company to be responsible for all official regulations. Not adhering to any of these laws results in the denial of the visa petitions for the employees to be. Also there is a particular salary an H1B employee must be paid for the position as per the U.S department of labor. There are set guidelines on this matter and the employer can ask the DOL to determine the actual wage for the position. A person who is already in H1B position generally is allowed to start working for a new employer by filling of a new H1B petition for a different employer again. If an individual plans to work for multiple employers each employer has to file a separate H1B petition.

A person on H1B visa can buy a house or real estate property too. They can also invest money in stocks, funds, bonds etc.

e599e2_09b5ba81acab47c6b8f350a19405c7a8Many of us would be wondering about what the H1B lottery is as the term is misleading in itself. It is just a terminology and not like buying a ticket for lottery really. It is officially a computer generated selection process completely. The petitions are labelled and divided into mater and regular quota. If there are more than 20000 petitions received in masters quota, then the computer generated random selection process comes into picture and is called H1B lottery. The petitions not getting selected from the master’s quota are combines into the general quota then.

If the total number of petition in the general quota then is over 65000, again a computer generated random selection process is run on the pool for selection as per cap limit. For a fare selection the lottery system is put into place as such.

After the list of selected candidates is finalized, the employers are informed. The petitions which are not selected are returned to respective parties along with the fee submitted. The selected petitions holders are informed about their case numbers for tracking purpose later and then later documentations are done as required.

Another big question which comes in mind is can the visa be transferred from one company to other easily. It is not a transfer, but it is basically new H1B petition, which is not counted in H1B quota because the applicant has already been counted in quota once in the past six years.       In order to approve such petitions, USCIS considers two things: Applicant has to maintain the status before applying for the new petition and will the status be maintained after the petition approval.

This is mainly all which is important to know when trying to apply for a H1B as per law.