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H-1B Visa Requirements

H-1B visas are reserved for non-immigrant foreign nationals in specialty occupations or in possession of special skills considered lacking among domestic workers. The three categories of workers eligible for H-1B visas, which are limited in number each year, are as follows:

  1. H-1B: Those performing services in a specialty occupation
  2. H-1B2: Those providing extraordinary services for a U.S. Dept. of Defense (DOD) research and development project
  3. H-1B3: Those working as fashion models of distinguished merit

H-1B visa requirements for those who wish to apply are specific to each of the three different categories listed above. For information about how to apply, see FindLaw's guide to the H-1B Visa Application Process.

H-1B Visa: Specialty Occupations

To qualify as a specialty occupation, a given position must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A bachelor's degree or its equivalent is the minimum application requirement
  • The degree requirement must be common to the job or the position must be so complex that only an individual with that degree can perform it
  • The employer must typically require a degree for the position
  • The duties of the job are so specialized and complex that the attainment of a bachelor's degree or higher is required (see 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(A) for more details)

The H-1B visa applicant must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Obtained a U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent as required by the given specialty occupation
  • Obtained a foreign degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent as required by the given specialty occupation
  • Hold a registration, certification or unrestricted state license authorizing full practice of the specialty occupation (and be engaged in that occupation)
  • Possess expertise in the specialty occupation through related positions and have training, education or experience in that specialty (see 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(C) for more details)

H-1B2 Visa: Dept. of Defense Research and Development Worker

To qualify as a DOD cooperative R&D project, it must be related to a government-to-government agreement handled by the DOD and must have a bachelor's degree or its equivalent as a requirement.

Applicants for H-1B2 visas must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Obtained a U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent as required by the given specialty occupation
  • Obtained a foreign degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree or its equivalent as required by the given specialty occupation
  • Hold a registration, certification or unrestricted state license authorizing full practice of the specialty occupation (and be engaged in that occupation)
  • Possess expertise in the specialty occupation through related positions and have training, education or experience in that specialty

H-1B3 Visa: Fashion Model

To qualify for an H-1B3 visa, the position must require a fashion model of prominence and the applicant must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help
you with visa procedures.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)