There are many educated and talented international job seekers in the US and companies can hire them easily with the right paperwork and this is not as costly as the employers think. Employers only need to file a work visa called H-1B in order to hire the international candidate. Especially, employers in STEM fields are having difficulty finding domestic candidates so it would be beneficial for them to start hiring international candidates.
Now let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions about H-1B visas by employers and job seekers.
- Does H-1B have a cost to the employer?
This is the first question potential employers typically ask if they are not familiar with the H-1B process. Yes, H-1B has a cost to the employer, but this cost is very minimal compared with the value that the right candidate will bring to the employer. The costs associated with H-1B visas are fees that need to be paid to the government and to the attorneys for filing the application. Since an H-1B application is a complex process, generally attorneys fill out the application and submit it.
- When is best time to apply for H-1B?
The H-1B fiscal year starts on October 1, and the application period for that fiscal year starts on April 1. For example, if you want the employee’s H-1B visa to start on October 1, then it is recommended for the employer to file the application by April 1. The reason for this is that there is a quota on the number of H-1B visas that can be issued per year. If the employer applies later, for example, on August, then the employee may not be able to get the H-1B visa for October 1, because all of the visas may already have been issued.
- How long is the H-1B visa valid?
An H-1B visa is valid for three years, but it can be extended an additional three years, meaning that one can work for six years under an H-1B visa.
- Can someone change jobs while on an H-1B visa or relocate to a different office while on an H-1B visa?
Yes, one can change jobs or relocate to a different office while on an H-1B visa, but if you are changing employers, you should get your new employer to petition for a new H-1B visa for you. The same goes with different job roles and different office locations. If you are changing to a completely new role or to a new office location under the same employer, then your current employer needs to submit a new H-1B visa petition for you. However, since you are already working under an H-1B visa, you are not subject to any date limitations or quotas this time.