Do you want to enter the US on H-1B visa but are confused about the credibility of information you have in your mind? You do not need to worry about the correctness of the information after reading this article.
We are disappointed that many myths revolve in the market related to H-1B visas, and people act on them, putting their H-1B petitions at risk. At Herman Legal Group, we aim to bust these myths and provide you with true facts so that you can act on your own on your visa application. Her are the common myths about H-1B visa
Myth #1: H-1B Visas are Available 365 Days a Year
This might seem true as other visas are available throughout the year. However, the reality is that H-1B visa category is in high demand, and United States citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) usually receive more h 1b petitions than the cap permits. The employer can continue filing H-1B visa petitions as long as the annual cap of 85,000 is reached. After that, the filing period will end.
Myth #2: I can start working for a US Employer as soon as my H-1B visa is Approved
The filing period for the H 1B visa category commences on April 1 of each year for the employment that begins on October 1, which is the USCIS fiscal year. If your h 1b petition is approved by the USCIS, you can only start working as an H 1b employee from October 1 of the year your petition is approved by the USCIS.
Myth #3: H-1B visa Invites Cheap Labor Market
This is not true, and foreign-born workers do not drive the US median wages. The fact is that the stats show that the average salary of foreign nationals working in the US is similar to that of US domestic workers. Another interesting fact is that the increase of salary in H-1B jobs is higher than other jobs. This counter the myth that US employers are hiring foreign workers at a cheaper rate.
Myth #4: H-1B visas are taking away American workers jobs
The common belief is that hiring foreign workers for US jobs adversely affects the employment status of locals, and H-1B holders are taking away jobs of their American counterparts. However, it is not true as the facts show that skilled workers have a positive impact on the American economy creating new jobs and opportunities for locals as well.
Not only that, an H-1B holder spends on an average $2,000 per month in the American economy, most of which goes to a local businesses.
Myth #5 The H-1B cap includes all foreign workers on H-1B visa
The common myth is that USCIS considers all foreign workers in the US who have H-1B visa while determining the cap limits. However, this is not true, and not all H-1B holders are calculated under the current annual statutory cap.
H-1B workers from previous years
The H-1B visa is issued for an initial period of 3 years and extendable for another 3 years. The annual cap is 85,000 each year. A foreign national who is already in the US on an H 1B visa are not counted towards the 85,000 cap. For example – When existing workers on H 1b visa decides to change their job and a new employer petition for their h1b visas, the petitions will not be considered under the cap.
Exempt employment for H-1B visas
The foreign worker who got their H-1B petition approved for a job at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities, a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization is exempted from the numerical cap.
H-1B visa for master’s degree
Further, most people believe that the USCIS allows 85,000 people with only bachelor’s degrees. The fact is that 20,000 visas are reserved specially for foreign nationals holding a US master’s or higher degree or its equivalent, and only up to 65,000 visas are issued to individuals holding a bachelor’s degree.
Myth #6: The H-1B visa do not allow dual intent
It is still unclear to the H-1B visa holders whether showing dual intent will lead to revocation of their visa or no because other nonimmigrant visas restricts the beneficiary’s dual intent, that is, intention to become a permanent residence in the US. The fact is that you can have dual intent to obtain a green card in the US and still get your H-1B visa approved.
Myth #7: You can start working immediately after the US employer files for H-1B visa
The common myth is that as soon as the US employer files your H-1B petition, you can start working for him. It might be true in cases when you are already on an H-1b visa in the US; however, if you do not have work authorization, you have to wait until the approval of your visa petition.
For example: if you are on a visitor visa in the US and you do not have a work authorization document, you have to wait for H-1B visa approval to start working.
Myth #8: The US employer can hire only a certain number of H-1B workers
The fact is that US employers can hire any number of foreign professionals on H-1B visa as they require. However, when the US employer hires an excess of foreign workers, he will be labeled as H 1b dependent employer. The excess H-1B workers are calculated as a percentage of the total workforce. The employer has to show the requirement of the foreign worker and nonavailability in the US market if he becomes H-1B, dependent employer.
Myth #9: The H-1B visa is the only available option for highly skilled foreign professionals seeking a job in the US
The highly educated foreign professionals looking for jobs in the US do not have H-1B visas as their only option. There are other available visas for them, such as employment-based visas (which is an immigrant visa), O visas, L visas, P visas, Q-1 visas, and others.
The H-1B visa is preferred as it allows dual intent, which is one of the most important factors for foreign nationals who want to become permanent residents in the US.
Myth #10: I cannot start my own business on H-1B visa
The H-1B visa holders who think that they cannot start their own business while on H-1B visa are wrong. The USCIS allows you to be a passive investor in your own start-ups, even if you are currently working with your sponsored company in the US. The key thing to remember is that you cannot draw a salary from your company, be at big positions such as CEO or actively participate in the running of the company.
Myth #11: The H-1B holder cannot travel outside the US while on H-1B visa
H 1b visas are issued for 3 years, and it is not rational to think that traveling is prohibited while on an H-1B visa. You can travel in and out of the US as long as H-1B visa is stamped on your passport. The traveling should not affect your work with the sponsored company; otherwise, it will have an effect on your visa status as employment is the reason for your valid status in the US.
Myth #12: I am exempted from paying taxes when on H-1B visa
Paying taxes is the duty of not only US citizens but also other individuals who are earning money in the US. You can legally work in the US on H-1B visa but have to pay taxes on your gross salary. Not even taxes; you are required to make contributions towards social security and medicare.
Myth #13: My H-1B job cannot be terminated as long as my visa status is valid
This is the biggest myth people have that their H-1B job cannot be terminated. Your right to work in the US was because the US employer has sponsored you for h 1b visa. The US employment laws state that US employers reserve the right to dismiss an H-1B worker before his visa period is over.
This makes sure you do not abuse your status. However, the right of the worker is also protected as the US employer has to provide existing workers under H-1B visa the reasonable cost to return to their home country if they decide to dismiss them from employment.
The cost depends on when the worker is willing to return to their home country. If they are similarly employed by another US employer who is willing to sponsor their H-1B petition, they can stay in the US for the rest of their H-1B term.
Myth #14: H-1B worker can work in any jobs
The H-1B visa requires the worker to hold a US bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent. The purpose of having H-1B visas is to fill the gap between the supply and demand of specialty occupations in the US. Therefore, the fact is that H-1B worker cannot apply in all US jobs and is limited to applying for specific positions.
For example – engineering jobs, accounting jobs, education and healthcare sector, finance jobs, and others specialty occupations. Further, you can apply only in the jobs that are related to your bachelor’s degree. So a person holding a bachelor’s degree in accounting cannot take a job in engineering as the degree does not justify the person’s competence.
Myth #15: The premium processing increase your chances of getting an H-1B visa
Another common myth is that if I pay extra for premium processing, it will increase my chances of getting an H-1B visa. This is not true. The USCIS, when it gets enough petitions to meet the cap, it takes out the lottery to select from excess petitions.
Premium processing does not increase your chances of being selected in the lottery; neither does it helps in getting your H-1B visa approved. USCIS decides your petition faster if you have paid premium fees. However, even if approved, you cannot start the employment before October 1 of the year in which your petition is approved.
How can Herman Legal Group help you?
We at Herman Legal Group hope that you will not fall into any myth trap and act on genuine information available in the market. If you are really concerned about your application and want to do a reality check, we provide online consultation services where you can have a conversation with one of our experienced immigration attorney.
We have a long experience in helping individuals get their H-1B visa approved. You can Contact Us and tell us about your problem, and our attorneys will hear your matter to decide the best course of action for you.
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