You're an international student about to finish your studies in the U.S. You're hoping to extend your stay by acquiring a temporary job. You've done your research and found a position whose qualifications you fulfill at a company whose goals align with your field of interest.
There's just one thing you need to do before you can submit your job application: apply for an H-1B.
WHAT'S AN H-1B?
Simply put, an H-1B is a visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that allows workers from other countries to enter the United States for a predetermined duration of time (three years with the possibility of extension) and work in specialty occupations for U.S.-based businesses.
International students who are enrolled in American universities or graduate schools, are close to completing their degree and are poised to return to their home country after their F1 Visa (which the majority of international students are under) expires can apply for an H-1B as an alternative to leaving the U.S.
In order for a student to be eligible for an H-1B, however, they need to have a bachelor's or master's degree in the required field, deep knowledge of said field and knowledge of a job opening at a business unable to find qualified U.S. citizens to fill the wanted position. Should the student possess all of the above, both they and the potential employer must do the following:
It's required that all H-1B applicants must be sponsored by a U.S.-based employer. That means before you can start applying, you need to find a company that is either willing or able to do so and make it clear you're looking for sponsorship. The people you will interact with during the application/interview process may not mention sponsorship, so be sure to do so yourself.
2. FILE AN LCA
After you attain sponsorship and are hired, your employers will file a Labor Condition Application (LCA for short) with the U.S. Department of Labor on your behalf. What this application consists of is attestations from said employers regarding wages and working conditions as well as promises that no work stoppage will take place on the day they file the application and that they will provide notice of said application to all employees.
3. FILE FORM I-29
Once the LCA is approved, the employer will proceed to submit a Form I-129, Petition to a Nonimmigrant Worker to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will have to provide the employer with certain documents (your CV, any training certificates you may have, a letter of recommendation, etc.) while the employer will provide the USCIS with the other required documents such as the employment agreement and pay the required filing fee.
After working with your employer to complete these simple steps, all you need to do is travel to your home country's American embassy or consulate, speak with them about processing your H-1B and wait to see if your visa is either approved or denied.
In the event your visa is denied, don't give up just yet. Because come April, you'll have a chance to participate in the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process. This yearly, computer-generated process is designed to evaluate petitions filed by students and professionals hoping to, among other things, attain an H-1 B for the next fiscal year. Want to learn more? Click here.
We at Boro hope this step-by-step guide helps you as you set out to continue your stay in the United States. Interested in obtaining a loan? Click here to find out more about our personal loans, here to learn about our auto loans and here to start an application.