US employment visa for specialty occupations / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) that allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or the equivalent of work experience. The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six years, after which the visa holder may need to reapply. Laws limit the number of H-1B visas that are issued each year: 188,100 new and initial H-1B visas were issued in 2019. Employers must generally withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes from the wages paid to employees in H-1B status.
The H-1B visa has its roots in the H1 visa of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952; the split between H-1A (for nurses) and H-1B was created by the Immigration Act of 1990. 65,000 H-1B visas were made available each fiscal year, out of which employers could apply through Labor Condition Applications. Additional modifications to H-1B rules were made by legislation in 1998, 2000, in 2003 for Singapore and Chile, in the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, 2008, and 2009. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has modified the rules in the years since then.