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Spouse Imigration






























H-1B Visas Are Better Than Spouse Imigration


Under the Immigration & Nationality Act, a United States employer can temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. These visas fall under the H-1B non-immigrant visa in the United States. Unlike spouse imigration, the requirements for obtaining an H-1B are very specific.


The regulations define a "specialty occupation" as work that requires a particular skill or knowledge. The position requires practical and theoretical application from a person that is highly skilled or has specialized knowledge in the field. The worker is required to have at least a bachelor degree or the equivalent and state licensure in their chosen field.

The H-1B visa requires that the holder must be sponsored by a particular company. This is not as straightforward as it sounds. The United States Department of Labor is accountable for making sure that foreign workers are not taking jobs that American citizens can perform. Therefore, the company must show there are several reasons for hiring foreign labor.

With the crack-down on spouse imigration applications, many have turned to applying for H-1B visas. Even through these visas are temporary, workers are looking for ways to have them extended. An H-1B visa is generally good for six years. Should the visa holder want to continue to work in the United States after that time, they must remain outside the United States for one year before reapplying.

There are some exceptions to this rule. One of those exceptions is for the visa holder to submit an I-140 immigrant petition or labor certification before their fifth year anniversary. The process can become complicated. If you are unsure what to do, I would recommend seeking legal counsel.

While the H-1B is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few visas that are classified with dual intent. This means while holding this visa the individual can file for legal immigrant status. The employee based green card process used to only take a few years. However, with the changes in spouse imigration and other visa, this process has become backlogged. Because of this, many people are seeking other alternatives.

The H-1B process has not changed in the last couple of decades. The downside to this visa is that it is still temporary. Therefore, if the holder is waiting to learn about their green card status, they will have to renew their H-1B visa in one to three year increments. This will keep them in legal status while they are waiting for their green card to come through.



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