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Pros and Cons of H-1B Visas

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H1B visa is a temporary employment visa for non-immigrant workers. When offered a job in the US, you have to apply for H1B visa petition with the US immigration department. Once the petition is approved, you’re given a work permit to work for the US employer and you’re visa is stamped. Before filing for the H1B petition, take a look at the pros and cons.



1. Portability: Once you acquire H1B visa you can work from one employer to another. You can also work part-time for multiple employers.

2. Anyone can apply: The H-1B visa can be applied by anyone from all over the worlds. It is open to a specialist from all nationals and countries compared to TN which is only reserved for Canadian and Mexican specialists.

3. Dual intent: H-1B is a dual intent visa and allows you to pursue legal permanent residency while under non-immigrant status.

4. Spouse and dependents: H1B visa allows you to bring your spouse and children as your dependents under the H4 Visa. They can also work in the US as long as they obtain employment authorization documents.

5. Duration: H1B visa allows you to stay in the US initially for three years and you can easily extend the visa to 6 years or more.

6. Combats local labor shortages: Many employers can benefit from employees who are willing to move permanently to the US. The employers can hire temporary professionals from different nationals who are specialist in an area.

7. Global competitiveness: To win the competition in the global market, an employer needs a global presence. Hiring employees via the H1B visa helps strengthen your global competitiveness and also get quality workers.

8. Apply multiple times: There is no limit on the number of times you can apply for the visa. After the initial 3 years, you can apply for another H-1B visa with a different employer.

9. Apply for permanent residency: Once you apply for an H1B visa, you can also apply for permanent residency while working there or apply for a green card under the H1B Visa.

10. Travel: The visa can allow you to travel in and out of the US multiple times within the visa specified validity period.



1. Job offer: Having a job offer is a major requirement for an H1B visa. Getting an employer who is willing to sponsor you is very difficult. since the employer has to file the petition on their behalf.

2. Lottery: There is always an annual limit on the number of approved petitions per year. This makes it difficult to obtain the visa. Due to excess petitions received each year, all the petition are entered into a lottery and a random selection method is used.

3. Extensions: H-1B visa can be extended once to a maximum of 6 years and if you want more extension, you need to consult the immigration department.

4. Fees: The employer has to pay for the H1B petition fee and sometimes the employer may fail to sponsor you especially when you can obtain TN visa for as little as $500 whereas H-1B visa cost up to $ 2320.

5. No direct application: You can’t apply directly for this visa. An employer has to petition for the entry of non-immigrant employee.

6. Eligibility: You must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent for the specialty position.

7. Inflexible dates: You have to follow strict dates due to the lottery process. You can’t file for a petition before April 1st and once the petition is approved, you have to start working from 1st October of the same year.

8. Work authorization is employer specific: You’re authorized to work under the valid employer and change of employer before the initial 3 years, need a new petition.

9. Selection: To get selected for the H1B visa is based on sheer luck and not merit.

10. A limited number of Visa: There are only 65000 visas issued on general category and 20 000 for candidates with US bachelor degree equivalent.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Luke Smith

    I like that you pointed out how you could work from one employer to another when you acquire a H1B visa. A friend of mine from overseas wants to immigrate to the US for work but it seems he needs to pass some requirements first. Passing some of the requirements are quite difficult so I think he should hire an immigration attorney first.

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