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I wish to start my career in US, I heard I have to apply for H1B Visa. What steps are involved in getting the visa?

  • I believe you can only get one through an appropriate US employer who can't find the staff they need domestically. There are tonnes of resources and articles describing the process online, did you try reading some of those? Where did you run into problems? What are you confused about having read those? – Gagravarr Jul 1 '14 at 13:34
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    For if it's not obvious in Karlson's answer: you don't, only an employer can do that. – vartec Jul 1 '14 at 14:45
  • I am currently an employee of a software company. I wish to apply H1 B visa. By Karlson answer I came to know I should be appointed by a US employer, so that I can proceed further. – SabareeshSS Jul 3 '14 at 6:46
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You will need to get a job in the US and have employer submit paperwork( Forms I-129 for USCIS and ETA-9035(LCA)) for you to be able to receive an H-1B and then you will need to apply for a visa. Normally an immigration lawyer is engaged (usually by the employer) that helps through the process.

You can start with USCIS Understanding Requirements Guide and also USCIS H-1B page.

One thing to note that there is a yearly cap on the number of H-1B applications granted, which you can take a look at the USCIS 2015 Cap page for details

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Although there's an accepted answer, I'll add one main point that is missing:

If you are planning to arrive in USA with an approved H1b visa, you can do that provided:

  1. A company has interviewed you and offered you a job before April 1st of the year you intended to start working in US.
  2. The company is willing to sponsor (file) your H1b petition on their own or with the help of attorneys, and submit the application (to be delivered to USCIS on 1st of April).
  3. The company is willing to wait until October 1st of that year for you to start working. (prov)

Its the delay/gap between points 2 and 3 that frustrate many companies to do direct overseas hiring for H1b applicants. Hence, if you already have an H1b visa and the company just has to transfer it, they'll be more than willing to do it, since you can start working on the day your petition is approved.

  • I like better your answer here. Also your last remark is absolutely essentially and this point had made me think in the recent past how likely is really to get a job in the USA (as a European working the UK) since your employer has to wait for 6 months from April to October? Also keep in mind that the actual interview may have taken place in March or even in February. Here in the UK, if you make an employer wait for more than one month (common notice period for a job) then you will probably lose the next job. – Poete Maudit Feb 6 at 15:26

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