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1214 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78702

Texas H-1B Lawyers for Specialty Occupation Workers

Peek & Toland Law Firm is a full service immigration law firm that offers assistance with those seeking a specialty occupation workers visa, or an H-1B visa. Our experienced and professional immigration team of lawyers and assistants work with visa applicants to ensure they meet eligibility requirements, bring and submit all required documents to USCIS, and that their application forms are filled out accurately. There is no need to struggle through the visa application alone, contact Peek & Toland Law Firm to help you with your application.

H-1B: Specialty Occupation Workers

Specialty Occupation Visas are normally three year temporary visas provided to specialty occupation workers for the purpose of working in specialty workplaces in the U.S. A “specialty occupation” is defined as a position that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher or a position an employer would normally require a degree or its equivalent for the position. Examples of qualifying H-1B occupations include teaching, scientific research, engineering, healthcare, nursing, medicine, information technology, law, business, finance, banking, accounting, advertising, sales, and public relations. Some H1-B visas may exceed the typical three year duration, however all H-1B visas may not have a duration beyond six years. There are a limited number of H-1B visas available each year. H-1B visas are currently capped at 65,000 visas each fiscal year.

There are three main types of H-1B visas. A brief description of each type is listed below:

  • H-1B(1) Visa: Free trade workers from Chile or Singapore in a specialty occupation.
  • H-1B(2) Visa: specialty occupations related to the Department of Defense Cooperative Research and Development projects or Co-Production products.
  • H-1B(3): Fashion models and workers with distinguished merit and ability.

H-1B Specialty Occupations

The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position
  • The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

For an applicant to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation he or she must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Has completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
  • Holds a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation
  • Holds an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes him or her to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
  • Has education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

H-1B2: DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker

The job must meet both of the following criteria to qualify as a DOD cooperative research and development project:

  • The cooperative research and development project or a co-production project is provided for under a government-to-government agreement administered by the U.S. Department of Defense
  • A bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent is required to perform duties.

To be eligible for this visa category an applicant must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Has completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
  • Holds a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation
  • Holds an unrestricted State license, registration, or certification which authorizes him or her to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
  • Has education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

H-1B3: Fashion Model

The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence. To be eligible for this visa category you must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

Period of Stay

As an H-1B nonimmigrant, you may be admitted for a period of up to three years. Your time period may be extended, but generally cannot go beyond a total of six years, though some exceptions do apply under sections 104(c) and 106(a) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21).

Your employer will be liable for the reasonable costs of your return transportation if your employer terminates you before the end of your period of authorized stay. Your employer is not responsible for the costs of your return transportation if you voluntarily resign your position. You must contact the Service Center that approved your petition in writing if you believe that your employer has not complied with this requirement.

H-1B Cap

The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit "cap" of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.

Family of H-1B Visa Holders

H-1B visa holder's spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may seek admission in the H-4 non-immigrant classification. Family members in the H-4 non-immigrant classification may not engage in employment in the United States.

Located At

Peek & Toland, L.L.P.
1214 E 7th Street
Austin, TX, 78702
Phone: (512) 474-4445

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