H-1B Eligibility Criteria
- The H-1B allows for temporary employment. It is permissible for the employer and the nonimmigrant employee to be considering the possibility of permanent employment in the future and to be planning to apply for an immigrant visa for the nonimmigrant employee.
- The position offered must require the skills and services of a professional and the worker must have the professional credentials to fill it. The minimum educational level acceptable for H-1B status is a bachelor's degree in the field of the proposed employment. The nonimmigrant employee must have the required degree, or its equivalent, to receive H-1B approval.
- There must be an "employer-employee" relationship (i.e. the employer must pay a regular salary to the nonimmigrant). The employer must pay, and be able to verify that the employee will be paid the prevailing wage, or the actual wage (whichever is higher) for the given position in the geographic area of the employment, and receive the standard employee benefits offered by the employer.
- The employer must declare that there are no strikes, lockouts or work stoppages in the course of a labor dispute in the occupation in which the H-1B nonimmigrant will be employed.
- The employer must agree to pay for return transportation home for the H‑1B employee if his/her employment is terminated is before his/her authorized H‑1B status expires.
- The H‑1B is employer specific, position specific, and location specific. A worker who has approved H‑1B employment through one employer cannot work for another employer for any amount of time unless the second employer has completed the H-1B petition process described above, and has received, depending on the case, either a USCIS receipt notice or the USCIS approval for the new employment. Employees who work without authorization are not eligible for payment and jeopardize their present and future possibilities for immigration and/or work in the U.S.