What is the annual cap on H-1B visas?

An H-1B work visa is a type of work visa allowing immigrants legal access to the United States for work. Congress places an annual cap on H-1B applications to limit the number of foreign immigrants who can apply for an H-1B work visa each year. The cap tends to fluctuate depending of economic and political trends. In the year 2000, the cap was set at 115,000. The annual H-1B visa cap has been significantly reduced. The H-1B work visa cap for the year ending in 2011 is set at 65,000.

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Can I apply for permanent residence while on an H-1B visa?

Typically a temporary U.S. work visa requires that you prove significant contacts in your native county and that you do not intend to apply for permanent residence in the U.S. The H-1B work visa is an exception to this rule. The H-1B work visa is technically a temporary visa because it is considered for a limited purpose, however, the application process for an H-1B work visa allows you to designate permanent residence as a dual intent as to the purpose of your entry.

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Working in the U.S. with an H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant (temporary) visa for a specialized professional who has been offered employment in the United States by a qualified employer. H-1B visas are valid for three years and visa holders can apply for a one-time extension of another three years allowing for a total stay of six years. H-1B visas are duel-intent visas. Visa applicants will not be denied because they intend to apply for permanent residency while holding the H-1B visa. H-1B visa holders can bring their family on an H-4 visa, an H-4 visa can not be a paid employee.

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Working in the U.S. with an H2-B Visa

The H-2B visa is a visa for temporary work that U.S. workers are generally unwilling to do. This visa is for non-professionals and an employer must sponsor an immigrant. To employ H-2B workers, employers go through a process to prove that no U.S. workers are willing to do the temporary work. This includes filing certain forms, advertising the seasonal work, and going through a state run labor certification process.

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How to Get an Immigration Work Permit or Authorization to Work in the United States

Getting an immigrant work permit is invaluable for many immigrants to the U.S. If you are an immigrant and want to obtain permission to legally work in the U.S., you will want to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD), otherwise known as the work permit. Several factors will determine the best route you should take for obtaining a permit. Two main factors include your residency status and your employment objectives.

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What is the most common visa category for obtaining a visa to work in the United States?

The H-1B is the generally preferred work visa, when feasible. It is the common visa category for employees who work in specialized fields. A spin-off of the H-1B visa is the H-1B3 visa for certain fashion models. In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, you must demonstrate a specialized training and background to work in the field in which you seek employment. To obtain an H-1B work visa, you must complete Form I-129.

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How long may I work as an H-1B temporary worker in the U.S.?

The typical duration of status for an H-1B visa worker is 3 years. Extensions may be granted for up to an additional 3 years for a total period of 6 years. Six years is the general cut off time for an H-1B temporary worker. However, depending on your situation, you may be able to receive an extension beyond the 6-year time frame if your employer submits an extension request more than 365 days before your H-1B visa is set to expire.

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