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For Individuals 

Temporary Work Visas



Professionals in Speciality Occupations

This classification allows you to accept professional employment with a U.S. employer, after the employer has obtained an approved labor condition application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). Professional employment is employment in a speciality occupation. A specialty occupation is one that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum. You must demonstrate that you qualify for the speciality occupation being offered to you.

There is an annual numerical limitation of 65,000 for H-1B status, with an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for foreign nationals holding U.S. advanced degrees that is met every year. Therefore, this classification is under a lottery system. There is only one time per year you may register, in March of each year. Exempt employers can apply for you any time of the year and are not subject to the cap. Exempt employers are institutions of higher education, government research organizations, non-profit research organizations, and non-profit entities that are related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education.

An H-1B petition may be valid for up to three years. You may change employers under the same H-1B and simultaneously pursue permanent residence while holding H-1B status. Recapture of H-1B time is also available. H-1B petitions may be extended for an additional period of up to three years, to a maximum of six years in H-1B status. However, there are limited exceptions to allow for continued H-1B extensions until you obtain your permanent residence. Your dependent spouse and children can hold H-4 status.