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What to Know About Getting an H1B Visa Sponsor

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The H1B visa program is one that provides people from outside the U.S. with a non-immigrant visa. The objective of this program is to allow companies based in the U.S. the opportunity to find highly skilled and specialized workers at the graduate level.

Most often, the H1B visa is used by tech companies, and it’s especially popular in Silicon Valley. Along with tech, some of the other areas where a person might be eligible for this program include accounting, architecture, engineering, medicine, math, and science.

When you have an H1B visa, you can work in the U.S., and it provides the opportunity to send money abroad while likely earning more than you would be able to in your home country.

If you work in a professional-level job that requires you have at least a bachelor’s degree, you may be eligible to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation.

There is a cap on this visa program, however. The employer is also the one responsible for petitioning and sponsoring the visa. It’s easier to get a non-immigrant visa than a green card, but people who want to come to the U.S. under this program do have to find an employer who will sponsor them.

It’s also often the situation that people can’t come to the U.S. under the H1B visa program, so they have to explore other options such as the L1B or the E-1.

The following are some things to know, including about how to find a sponsor.

The Cap

First, there is an H1B visa cap, as was touched on above. The cap must be adhered to on a fiscal year basis. A U.S. employer, who has to sponsor an employee, can start the application process six months before the start date of the visa. Even though employers can apply early for the cap, the employer can’t start working until a certain time.

An H1B visa is also valid for three years, and there’s the opportunity to extend it for up to six years or maybe more, depending upon the work a person is doing.

Also, if you are fired by your employer who sponsored you, or you quit, you will have to find a new employer and complete new paperwork as part the application process to change your status, or you may have to return to your home country.

Sponsor Qualifications

For an employer to sponsor you for this visa, some things need to be in place.

First, the position the employer is going to sponsor someone for needs to be considered so unique or complex that it could only be done with by someone with a degree The specific duties of the job would usually require at least a bachelor’s degree to be completed.

If an employer has a job or role that’s not specialized or there is a candidate who doesn’t have the necessary skills, they might be eligible for an H2B visa.

Finding A Sponsor

If you’re interested in finding a sponsor for this nonimmigrant visa program, there are quite a few paths you might be able to take. These include:

  • There are databases that specialize in providing links between potential employees and H1B visa sponsors. Many of these database websites will list companies that have recently sponsored these visas. Most experts say the best way to get a job that’s going to allow you to be eligible for the H1B visa is to apply at companies that have already sponsored several of these petitions over the past few years.
  • When you do find employers that might sponsor an H1B visa, it’s a good idea to cast a wide net. Apply for as many positions as you can find that you would be qualified for, and then if you get a job offer, let the company know that you would need them to complete an H1B visa sponsorship petition.
  • Consider working for a consulting company. There are both small U.S.-based consulting companies that might be a good idea for you if you want to be sponsored for an H1B visa, as well as larger global consulting companies.
  • Consider universities as well. Universities often hire people from outside the U.S., and many universities are exempt from the caps on H1B visas. Typically universities can hire as many people as they want to sponsor under the H1B visa program. However, if you do get your visa to work at a university, you won’t be able to then transfer that and work at a private-sector company.

Finally, you should know that getting sponsored by a U.S. employer is only one part of the process. Once you have an employer, the employer has to be approved on their Labor Condition Application, which has its own set of steps to follow.

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