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H1B FAQs - You Ask, We Answer

Have Question? We are here to help

Can I apply H1B from outside the U.S.

Yes. As long as you find a U.S. employer willing to sponsor your H1B visa application, you can apply from outside the U.S. Once you obtain H1B status, you may apply for an H1B visa at an embassy outside the U.S. and use the H1B visa to enter the U.S.

Can I apply for an H1B visa without a degree from the U.S.?

Yes. A bachelor's degree related to the job field is the minimum requirement for H-1B status. This degree can be from outside the U.S., but must be certified to meet the standards. Without a bachelor's degree, substantial proof of work experience is needed, where three years of experience is equivalent to one year of undergraduate education. Therefore, candidates with an associate degree and relevant work experience can also qualify for H1B approval.

How much does it cost to get an H1B?

It shouldn't cost the individual anything, as technically, you cannot apply for an H1B visa by yourself. Your employer is responsible for submitting the petition and paying the fees. For employers looking to sponsor a foreign worker with an H1B visa, here is a breakdown of the costs:

Fee Amount Comments
Bio H1B Services

H-1B Academic Positions: $2,200

H-1B Non-Academic Positions: $2,500

H-1B Extension/Amendment: LATE Submission*: $250

Required for all H-1B cases; for preparation of the petition
USCIS Filing $460 Required for all H-1B cases; payable by separate check
USCIS Fraud Prevention $500 Required for all H-1B cases except extensions and amendments; payable by separate check
USCIS Premium Processing $2,500 Optional; payable by separate check;
I-539 Dependents $370 paper filing Required for dependents changing or extending status; payable by separate check


When can I register for the H1B lottery? When can I know the result of the lottery?

For instance, in 2023, USCIS opened the H-1B lottery registration from March 1 to March 17. They informed applicants about their selection for filing an H-1B visa by March 31, 2023. 

How do I check the results of the H1B lottery?

Use the case confirmation number given by your employer, and you can track your case on the USCIS online platform. 

Can I transition from an H-1B visa to a green card?

Yes, you can transition from an H-1B visa to a green card. The H-1B is a dual-intent visa, which permits applying for permanent residency.

Can I get an H1B visa first, then find a job that I like?

Technically, no. Since the H1B visa is employer-sponsored, individuals cannot apply independently. However, an H1B visa can be transferred between employers. After securing an H1B visa, you have the option to switch to a different employer who is willing to sponsor the transfer of your H1B.

How long will I be able to stay and work in the U.S. on an H1B visa?

The H1B visa has a duration of 6 years. However, if you initiate your green card application and successfully submit your I-140 within the first 5 years, you are eligible to apply for H1B extensions beyond the 6-year limit. These extensions can be granted annually until your I-140 is approved and you receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. 

What is the minimum salary requirement for H1B visa holders?

The employer submitting the H-1B petition is required to provide evidence to the Department of Labor (DOL) that the employee will be paid either the prevailing wage or the employer's actual wage, depending on which is higher. The prevailing wage refers to the salary typically given to workers in comparable roles within the same geographical area. In contrast, the actual wage is what the employer pays its employees in similar positions.

In essence, if an employer offers a very low salary and claims they can assist you in obtaining an H1B visa, their statement is not truthful.

What happens if I lose my job while on an H1B visa?

We offer a comprehensive guide to this question, which we strongly recommend reading, even if your current employment situation is stable. There have been numerous instances where individuals face a status crisis due to changes in employment, often through no fault of their own, such as company restructuring, etc. Being prepared is crucial, as maintaining your legal status is of utmost importance while residing as a foreign national in the U.S.

Can I bring my family to the U.S. if I have an H1B visa?

Yes. Yes, your spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years old may be eligible to join you on H-4 visas.

Can my spouse work too if I'm on H1B?

It depends: An H4 visa holder can study in the U.S., either full-time or part-time. However, they can only receive work authorization after the H1B holder begins their I-140 petition process.