There are a large number of foreign citizens who want to work in America. This might or might not be because of perceived better job opportunities and working conditions that they otherwise can’t find in their home countries. Whatever their reasons, foreigners need to acquire work visas first before being allowed to work in the country legally.
H-1B visas are the most popular type of working visa since it can turn into a long-term arrangement and even a permanent residency later on. Acquiring an H-1B visa is not that simple, however, and its complex procedures can be hard to navigate. Let’s go through some common myths about H-1B visa and learn the truth behind them.
Only Large Companies can hire through an H-1B Visa
There is no requirement for a company to reach a certain amount of revenue or number of employees to petition for an H-1B visa. It can file an H-1B petition as long as it is a U.S. entity with an Employer Identification Number acquired from the Internal Revenue Service.
The government, however, may require smaller companies to provide additional information to verify the need for the position they’re trying to source.
Companies Have to Prioritize Americans before Petitioning
It’s not true that U.S. employers have to prove that they tried to look for eligible Americans who could do the job before filing the H-1B petition. This only applies to employers who already have over 15 percent of their employees with an H-1B status.
H-1B Visas are Available Anytime
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) only releases 85,000 H-1B visas annually, and the filings start on April 1st. After meeting the visa cap, the USCIS will no longer accept further petitions until April 1st of the next year.
H-1B Employees Mean Cheap Foreign Labor
Employers must pay their H-1B employees the market rate for their respective positions. The rate depends on the company’s location and is referenced with the wage database of the Department of Labor.
Because of its popularity and complex procedures, accurate information regarding the H-1B visa is often hard to separate from the myths. Getting the facts straight, though, will help foreign citizens and companies make informed decisions.