One well-known U.S. work visa is the H-1B. We cover it in detail in two other blogs: H-1B Visa vs O-1 Visa: Which One Is Better? and Know How Company H-1B Visa Sponsorship Works. This visa is highly coveted because there are clear advantages to having an H-1B visa. There are also some H-1B visa benefits that may be considered more personal than professional. These benefits fall into two categories: “H-1B Visa Benefits for Foreign Workers” and “H-1B Visa Benefits for U.S. Employers.” From global competiveness to permanent residency, we’ll explain why H-1B visas are good for both employees and employers.
How the H-1B Visa Benefits U.S. based Employers
- Companies can gain a global competitive edge.
Combat Local or Regional Labor Shortages
- Labor shortages are common in the U.S. right now, so qualified workers who are willing to relocate can be hard to find. The H-1B process equips companies to hire foreign workers to fill temporary, specialty positions with the opportunity for long term employment within the company.
How the H-1B Visa Benefits Foreign Workers
Prevents Family Separation
- If you are approved for the H-1B Visa, you can bring your spouse and children along with you as dependents under the H-4 visa. This dependent visa category exists solely for the spouses and children of H-1B visa holders. The duration of the H-4 will be as long as the duration of the H-1B visa.
- This visa category keeps families together and provides H-4 visa holders the opportunity to pursue work in the U.S.
- This visa category is not short term like the B-1 or J-1. It allows you to live and work in the U.S. for an initial period of three years, with the option to extend an additional three years.
The Portability Provision: H-1B Transfers
- This work visa gives you the ability to “port” or transfer status from one employer to another during your stay. It also allows you to work for multiple employers at the same time.
- Updated laws grant a 60 day grace period to transfer to a new employer should your initial employment end.
Equitable Access for All Applicants
- Foreign workers from any country in the world can apply for the H-1B visa.
The Dual Intent Doctrine
- Another advantage of having an H-1B visa is that it allows you to apply for permanent residency without compromising the validity of your H-1B visa status. This is called Dual Intent.
- With a “dual intent” visa you can also apply for a green card while continuing employment under the terms of your existing visa. The H-1B is one of several visas that creates a clear and direct path towards permanent residency.
- Dual Intent makes it lawful for you to pursue a work visa in the U.S. for multiple reasons, beyond just temporary work.
- Intent is often determined when you interview with an immigration officer or consulate. If the U.S. finds that you have misrepresented your intentions in securing a work visa, you could face significant legal consequences. It’s best to seek legal counsel to help you determine the best course of action.
As you consider the advantages of having an H-1B visa, remember that you don’t have to navigate the complex U.S. immigration landscape alone. At Legalpad, we believe that all people deserve the opportunity to pursue any opportunity - regardless of where they were born. Reach out to us today and we’ll help you get the H-1B process started.