For H1 visa
What is the H1B visa?
The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that permits foreign
nationals to live and work in the U.S. for a temporary
period of time.
How long does it last?
A foreign national can stay in the U.S. in H1B status
for up to six years. The six years is issued in three-year
Who qualifies for an H1B?
Foreign nationals who will come to the U.S. to fill specialty
occupations or who are accomplished fashion models.
What is a specialty occupation?
A specialty occupation is an occupation that requires
that theoretical and practical application of a specialized
body of knowledge. Specialty occupations normally require
bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement. Applicants
filling specialty occupation positions will have a bachelor’s
degree in the field of the specialty occupation or have
a substantial amount of related experience. Generally,
most H1B applicants are doctors, engineers, professors,
accountants, lawyers, physical therapists, and computer
How many H-1Bs are available?
In 2001, 107,500 will be available, Thereafter, the number
drops back down to 65,000.
What percentage of the American workforce is comprised
of H-1B foreign nationals?
Less than .1% of the workforce of more than 127 million
What benefits do American companies receive from hiring
Employer hiring H-1B workers are able to utilize the special
technical knowledge or skills of these workers that are
difficult to find. Employers are also able to satisfy
temporary labor shortages of skilled workers.
What are the obligations of an American company sponsoring
a H-1B foreign national?
The American company must comply with the following requirements:
Protect wages: Employers must pay a wage to every H-1B
worker that is at least as much as what is typically paid
in the region for that type of work, or what the employer
pays other employees with similar experience and duties.
Protect working conditions: Employers can’t use
H-1B employees to break a strike, and must notify their
U.S. workforce when they hire an H-1B. Employers cannot
make the H-1B employee work under conditions different
from their U.S. co-workers, including hours, shifts and
Recruit in the U.S. and Not Displace U.S. workers: Employers
who use a lot of H-1Bs must first try to find U.S. workers
before they can hire an H-1B. They also must attest that
they are not hiring the H-1B if they have laid off or
displaced a similarly situated U.S. worker. Employers
make these attestations in a file that is open to the
Subject to penalties: Failure to comply with DOL regulations
can result in civil and administrative penalties, payment
of back wages, and even debarment from participating in
key immigration programs.
For B1 visa
How is the B-1 Businees Visitor Visa Useful?
A1 The B-1 business visitor visa can be very useful for
a businessperson who needs to travel to the U.S. on short
notice to attend meetings and the like.
Q2 Can you give me some examples for acceptable
activities under B-1 status?
A2 Some examples of acceptable activities under B-1 status
include: commercial transactions; contract negotiations;
meetings and consultations with business associates; litigation;
participation in company training or in professional or
business conventions, conferences or seminars; research;
visits to branch offices of one's company; and sales calls.
Q3 What is the general US rule regarding B1- Status?
A3 B-1 visa holders cannot take up work in the U.S. The
general rule is that the activities of the B-1 person
in the U.S. must be for the benefit of the foreign employer.
As the State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM)
puts it, "Engaging in business contemplated for B-1
visa classification generally entails business activities
other than the performance of skilled or unskilled labor."
Q4 Are there any other circumstances that a B-1
visitor can work?
A4 Certain B-1 visitors may perform work here under certain
narrow circumstances. Some examples are missionaries,
volunteer workers for non-profit entities, certain domestic
servants whose employers are not U.S. residents, and certain
airline employees, among a few others.
Q5 Can B-1s be issued in any other way?
A5 B-1s can also be issued to people coming to install
or repair equipment in connection with a contract to sell
the equipment, where installation, training and so forth
are specifically mentioned in the contract as being part
of the terms of the sale. The usual situation of this
type is where a U.S. subsidiary is selling goods manufactured
by its parent company abroad, and that foreign company
sends a technical expert to oversee installation. In contrast,
if a company in the U.S. has a contract that does not
involve the sale of merchandise but concerns the provision
of services, a B-1 holder cannot be assigned to provide
such services. Rather than being incidental to a sale,
those services are the actual item that is being sold.
The activities of the B-1 visitor would be mainly or completely
for the benefit of the U.S. Company.
Q6 B-1 in lieu of H-1. Can you explain this?
A6 Historically, there has also been a use of the B-1
that is sometimes called "B-1 in lieu of H-1."
That situation commonly involved a person who appeared
otherwise eligible for an H-1, working in a short-term
professional assignment when the salary was paid from
a non-U.S. source. Keep in mind that the expense allowance,
or reimbursement for hotels and food, can be paid in the
U.S. for those in B-1 status. While some consulates around
the world still seem to issue the B-1 in this type of
situation, the "B-1 in lieu of H-1" is considered
somewhat suspect by most consulates; today, most would
not issue the B-1 visa in these circumstances. Moreover,
the USCIS (INS), which is the agency that people have
to deal with when they arrive in the U.S., does not approve
of the issuance of the B-1 where the foreign national
is working and benefiting the U.S. employer directly.
Consequently, there could be problems in gaining entry
into the U.S. if the USCIS (INS) inspector questions the
purpose of the trip. It could also be difficult to obtain
an extension of the B1 status from within the U.S. should
that become necessary.
Q7 What is the scope for B-1 status?
A7 There have been recent indications that USCIS (INS)
inspectors are focusing more often on the scope of the
B-1. For example, the U.S. Embassy at Tokyo and the U.S.
Consulate General at Osaka-Kobe, Japan have noted an increase
in the number of Japanese business visitors turned away
at U.S. ports of entry. Officials at these posts have
strongly encouraged attorneys to advise their clients
as to the proper use of the B-1.
Q8 What are the documents to be carried by B-1's?
A8 B-1 visa holders should carry with them the documentation
(such as a company letter) that they used to obtain the
visa, in case they are asked at the port of entry about
the purpose of their trip.
For B1 visa
What should I do if I am out of status on my F-1?
A You should be able to regain status through departure
and re-entering using
a valid F-1 visa and Form I-20 (student copy) validated
by your foreign
student adviser if you can convince the USCIS (INS) of
1) the status
violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control
that failure to receive reinstatement would result in
2) you currently are pursuing or intend to pursue a full
course of study at
the school listed on the I-20;
3) you have not engaged in unauthorized employment; and
4) you are not otherwise deportable.
Q What financial requirements must be met to receive
an F visa ?
A The applicant must demonstrate adequate financial support
to cover him/her
through the entire academic program will be available
and that adequate
funds are currently available for the coming academic
evidence may include school financial aid, personal and
family funds and
government assistance. Anticipated earnings from employment
may not be used to show adequate financial resources.
Q What are the procedures for applying for an F-1 visa
A Unlike most non-immigrant visas, it is not necessary
to obtain prior
clearance from the USCIS (INS). Rather, the student must
obtain an I-20 A-B
Certificate of Eligibility from the school where the student
enroll and submit together with the OF-156 Non-Immigrant
Visa form and
supporting documentation regarding financial resources
an intent to return to the students home country to a
in the students home country. After the visa is issued,
applies at the U.S. border for admission. If the applicant
in the U.S. in another non-immigrant status, the student
applies to the USCIS (INS).
Q Must an F-1 student be studying on a full-time
A Yes. At the undergraduate level, this normally means
at least 12 academic hours.
Graduate level full-time is left to the school to define
(especially since work on a thesis or dissertation may
work even though no credit hours are being taken).
Q How long can I stay on an F-1 visa ?
A Foreign students are permitted to stay in the U.S. for
the entire period of
enrollment in an academic program plus any period of authorized
training and a 60-day grace period to depart the U.S.
The whole period is
normally referred to as duration of status and is noted
on the I-94 as
D/S. The student must complete the academic program prior
to the date of
expiration listed by the designated school official on
the I-20AB (a form
issued by the school). Do note, however, that you must
carry a full time
course load (except if you are in your last semester of
study). See the
Q Can I pursue an F-1 visa if similar training
is available in my home
A Yes. However, to pursue practical training, such training
must not be
available in the aliens home country. In most cases, however,
USCIS (INS) does
not make a big issues of it.
Q Who can apply for an F-1 visa ?
A9 Any alien who has applied to and been accepted to enroll
on a full-time
basis in an academic education program which has been
approved by the USCIS (INS)
to accept F-1 applicants is eligible to apply if the student
in English or engaged in English language courses leading
proficiency. The alien must also demonstrate sufficient
to study without having to work and he or she must also
show that there is
no intent to abandon residency in the students home country.
are already in the U.S. in a valid status may apply for
status to student status. See answer below.
Q Can I transfer schools on the same F-1 visa
A10 Yes, if you are currently a genuine nonimmigrant student,
you may have been
pursuing a full course of study at the school you were
last authorized to
attend during the term immediately preceding the transfer,
you intend to be
a full-time student at the new school and you are financially
able to attend
the new school.
you seek a transfer, you must notify the present school
of the transfer
and obtain the I-20 AB from the new school. You must complete
Certification portion of the I-20AB and deliver it to
the foreign student
officer at the new school within 15 days of beginning
attendance at the new
school. The foreign student officer will endorse the transfer
on your I-20
copy and return it to you. The foreign student officer
then sends the
original I-20 to the USCIS (INS) and a copy to the old