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What are the rules for specialty occupations under an H-1B visa?

Given the importance of the United States in the world economy and the welcoming nature that immigrants who had specific skills were granted when trying to come and work in the U.S., the current changes that are being implemented under the presidency of Donald J. Trump have many concerned. For those who are seeking to come to Florida to work under the H-1B visa program, the announcement that premium processing will be suspended temporarily can cause consternation. Even with that, it is still important to understand the requirements to be eligible under H-1B. One key category is specialty occupations.

To be considered part of a specialty occupation, the applicant must possess a bachelor's degree, its equivalent or higher to be allowed in the U.S. to accept the position. This degree must be common to the industry or the job must be so complicated or unusual that the only person who can perform it is one with a degree. The employer must normally have the degree as a requirement for the position. And the duties that will be carried out in the job must be so specialized and complex that the degree is necessary to be able to do them correctly.

The prospective employee who is entering the U.S. under an H-1B employment visa must have one of the following: have attained a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher as necessary for the specialty occupation and it must be from an accredited institution; have authorization through an unrestricted state license, certification or registration to work in the occupation and work in the state where the employment is intended; or have experience, training or education that is equivalent to a completed degree and have worked in the position on a progressive basis before.

Those who are seeking to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation should have help in grasping the basics and the potential changes to the laws relating to employment-based immigration. The news reports and rhetoric surrounding the proposed and implemented changes might be intimidating, but having an expert who fully understands employment immigration can help to handle a case.

Source: uscis.gov, "H-1B Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models -- H-1B Specialty Occupations," accessed on April 25, 2017

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