Top 10 H1B Visa Myths and their Realities
It is a dream of many to set foot in the United States. It is the home of many stars and companies that have been making headlines throughout the world. For those who want to venture their career’s future in USA, the most preferred route is to get an H1B Work visa. Due to its popularity, many have tried but few are approved because of many myths about the application process. To give you an idea of the reality of applying for a work visa, here are the most common myths and what they truly are.
You can apply for H1B visas anytime of the year.
The truth of the matter is, you can’t. In actuality, the US government has a cap of only 85,000 accepted visas annually. After this limit is reached, no more applications are processed. This means to say that you can have better chances if you apply early in the year. The filing starts on April 1 of each year for all employments that are to start on October of the same year.
The cap applies to all applications.
There is a 65,000 cap for new H1B visas and 20,000 for advanced degree applicants. The good news about this is that if you are already in the US with an H1B work visa and just need to renew due to a new employer, you are exempted. This also applies for those who are employed by non-profit organizations, government offices, and educational institutions. There is also an additional cap of 20,000 for those who have advanced degrees taken from any U.S. educational institution.
All that possess a Bachelor’s degree can apply for a visa.
This is not true. There are qualifications imposed for every specific position applied for. If you do not meet these requirements or the processing officer thinks the employer can get better employees locally, you will not be approved.
You need to keep your intent to be an immigrant of the country.
Unlike temporary visit visas, you can express your intent to become a US immigrant. One reason for this is that you are working. This means you have the capacity to support yourself in the country. The H1B visa supports dual intent mainly because a working individual is considered a valuable addition to the country’s citizens.
Only big companies can sponsor foreign workers.
Not necessarily. According to law, the sponsoring party can be an individual, partnership or corporation. As long as your employer has the capacity to hire you and has proven the need for someone to fill their offered position, he can still be a sponsor. The myth about companies is based on the fact that big businesses have better chances of approval since they clearly have the capacity and need to hire a new employee.
Sponsoring employees have to hire from the local workforce first.
The only sponsors required to do this are the ‘dependent employers’ or those that have H1B employees consisting more than 15% of their workforce. As for the rest there is no need to prove that they have tried to hire locally.
One can start working once the H1B petition is filed.
This is possible if you are an employee under an H1B work visa transferring to another employer. However, if you are new, you will have to wait until approval before actually working. Working and receiving salary before that will be considered illegal and might forfeit your visa altogether.
I can work other jobs once I get my H1B visa.
No, you cannot. H1B visas are specific. You can only work for the position and sponsor you applied for. You cannot do any other work even under the pretense of a part time job. If for some reason you need to change employers, the new company should file for an H1B petition.
Foreign workers do not pay taxes.
This can’t be more misguided. All earning individuals in the US should pay taxes. This also applies to foreign workers. Examples of these are income tax, social security tax, and unemployment and state taxes. You will be informed of your payables once you are about to start working.
I need to stay in the United States as long as my H1B visa is valid.
Of course not. On the contrary, you can travel anywhere outside the United States as long as your visa is valid. All you need to keep with you is your stamped visa and you can go back to the USA after your travels without a hitch.