H-1B is a non-immigrant classification. As an employer, this program could allow you to gain access to specialized skills across the world.
Before diving into the legal aspect, it is important to understand the economic realities of this program. Specifically, this would probably not be a way for you to cut payroll costs. You would attest to the Department of Labor that you intend to pay the going market rate in terms of wages to the workers you hire.
Definition of H-1B specialists
The H-1B program should help you gain access to a much wider range of candidates for the specialized positions you need to fill. However, there are some requirements. The occupation for which you are hiring must require candidates to have higher education. It must also involve the theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge.
Candidates must also meet certain criteria. They must hold at least one of the following types of credentials relevant to the specific occupation:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited US institution or foreign equivalent
- An unrestricted state certification, registration or license
- Experience, training or education equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree
These requirements apply to the H-1B specialty occupation program. Other requirements apply to the H-1B2 and H-1B3 subcategories.
H-1B visa characteristics
These visas typically allow three years of admission to the USA with additional extensions not exceeding six years in total. You might be responsible for travel costs in some situations upon terminating employment, and the employee might be able to switch companies while in the country.
There are many factors to consider when pursuing specialized talent through the H-1B program. However, for some companies, it is an important part of remaining competitive in an increasingly global labor market.