As a Canadian citizen and professional, you may know that many of your compatriots use the TN visa to capitalize on professional opportunities in the United States. You may also know this visa is specifically for Canadians and Mexicans with certain educational or professional credentials. But did you know you could consider an H-1B visa as an alternative to a TN visa?
Getting an H-1B visa proved challenging in 2020 leading up to 2021, even for some Canadians. In June 2020, the Trump administration imposed a temporary ban on the H1-B visa and other types. They argued that these visas posed a risk to the US labour market as it recovered from the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021 the Biden administration did not renew the ban when it expired. The administration is also taking steps to lift certain restrictions. That being said, Canadians can once again obtain H-1B visas. Read on to learn more.
What Is an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa allows a foreigner to work for a US company in the United States. The foreign worker must work in a field requiring specialized knowledge to be eligible. They should also meet the job requirements, and the employer must show that they could not find a qualified US citizen or resident to fill the position.
As an H-1B visa applicant, you should be sponsored by the US employer planning to hire you. They will pay for your visa fees and submit the necessary documents on your behalf.
What Types of Occupations Qualify?
You can apply for an H-1B visa if you work in a field that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. If you have at least 12 years of experience in a specialized field, you may bypass this requirement.
The US Government issues H-1B visas for full-time and part-time positions in specialized fields such as:
- Business and finance
- Medicine and health
- Information technology
How Do You Apply for an H-1B Visa?
Your prospective US employer will file the application for submission to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. They should prepare everything by the time the application period opens on April 1. It is recommended that they gather all the necessary documents at least six months before the application period.
During this process, the Department of State will first have to file a Labor Condition Application with the US Department of Labor. They will run checks to ensure that you will be paid the prevailing wage – the minimum salary for that position in the location where the employee will be working. The process can take a few months, but the waiting time can be reduced if the employer files the petition under premium processing.
What Is the H-1B Lottery?
The H-1B Lottery is a computer-generated random selection process that the US government uses to choose applicants for approval. With the help of this process, the US government grants H-1B visas to 65,000 applicants with bachelor’s degrees. Also, they approve another 20,000 H-1B visas for applicants with a master’s degree.
When Does the H-1B Visa Expire?
An H-1B visa is valid for up to three years and can be renewed for another three. After six years, you must leave the United States for a year before you can re-apply for a new H-1B visa.
Do You Want to Consult a US Immigration Lawyer in Montreal?
Working in the US may be an exciting step in your career. It is also a major decision that is preceded by some important steps, processes and research. Speak with the US immigration lawyer at Silver Immigration to make this process easier. Our team will guide you along every step towards getting an H-1B visa. Book a consultation today.