H-1B Visa FAQs

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Top FAQs About H-1B Visas

H-1B visas are non-immigrant visas that allow companies in the U.S. to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Foreign nationals with specialized knowledge in fields like information technology, engineering, medicine, finance, etc., and who meet certain educational requirements are eligible for H-1B visas.

The process involves employer sponsorship, where the employer has to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor and submit Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) to the USCIS. If the petition is approved in the lottery process, the employee will have to appear for the visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy for final approval.

The time taken to secure H-1B visa status can differ significantly for each case. Employers can submit the Labor Condition Application around six months before the planned start date. Generally, USCIS takes around two to five months to approve H-1B petitions. In most cases, H-1B petitions are filed after April 1 for jobs starting on October 1.

H-1B visas are typically granted for three years, with the option to extend them for an additional three years, making it a total of six years. In certain situations, these visas may be extended beyond the six-year limit.

For most H-1B visa holders, the initial admission period is for up to three years, extendable for another three years. After this period, staying outside the U.S. for one year is usually required before applying for another H-1B visa. However, certain H-1B holders involved in Defense Department projects might be eligible for a 10-year H-1B status.

In specific cases, extensions beyond six years are possible. If you have a pending labor certification (PERM) or Form I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker for over a year, you could get a one-year extension. Additionally, if your I-140 Petition is approved, but an immigrant visa isn’t available yet, you might apply for a three-year extension of your H-1B status.

Yes, there is an annual cap set by the U.S. government. For most applicants, there’s a limit of 65,000 visas every fiscal year. An additional 20,000 visas are made available for individuals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

Yes, you are allowed to change employers on an H-1B visa, but the new employer must file a new H-1B petition to sponsor you.

Yes, your spouse and unmarried children below age 21 can apply for H-4 visas and accompany you. However, they will have to provide proof of family relationship to you to get a H-4 visa.

If your petition is denied, you can reapply or explore other visa options, depending on your situation.

No, the regulations for an H-1B visa prohibit self-employment. To maintain this visa status, you must be employed by a U.S.-based sponsoring company.


The USCIS considers only 12+4 years of education for a bachelors’ degree. A system of 12+3 years for graduate courses like B.Sc or B.Com after 12th grade is not recognized by the USCIS.

However, individuals may be eligible based on their relevant work experience in their specialized field. Typically, three years of work experience can substitute for one year of academic study, necessitating a minimum of twelve years of experience in many cases.


No, the visa’s duration is limited to an initial 3-year period, with the option for a subsequent 3-year extension. However, if you wish to stay longer, you must apply for permanent resident status (green card) while in the country on an H-1B visa. It’s crucial to apply for a green card by the end of the second year of your visa extension.


Absolutely, H-1B visa holders are eligible to apply for a green card. Despite being a non-immigrant visa, the H-1B is considered a ‘dual-intent visa.’ This implies that holders can apply for and obtain a green card without jeopardizing their H-1B status.

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