Generally H-1B visa is granted for three years. It may then be extended for up to an additional three years.
For further extension, the H-1B professional must remain outside the U.S. for at least one year before becoming eligible for another H-1B visa. If the professional acquires permanent residency (Green Card) he/she need not remain outside the country for one year. Certain foreign nationals working on Defense Department projects may remain in H-1B status for 10 years.
There are Limited extensions allowed beyond the six maximum for certain foreign national who have permanent residence applications pending.
Yes, you may bring your dependents on H-1B visa. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old are entitled to an H-4 visa and they can stay as long as you maintain valid H-1B status. However, they may not accept employment, but may attend school in the U.S. You may even bring your servants on B-1 visa.
How do I apply for H-1B visa?
An individual may not apply for H-1B visa. H-1B status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. A U.S. employer has to file the H1B petition to employ a foreign professional.
How should an employer petition for H-1B visa?
The Forms to be filed for an H-1B petition are:
- Form ETA-9035, Labor Condition Attestation, through the iCERT website. Through this application your employer assures the DOL that he/she will provide you with a fair salary and equal benefits, similar to thise which are provided to a U.S. citizen.
- Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with H Supplement, and supporting documentation including the approved LCA should be filed with the USCIS Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the city of intended employment. When it is approved, the employer or agent is sent a notice or approval Form I-797 and a copy of it is forwarded to the American Consulate