Nepal is the fifth largest foreign community to receive ‘H-1B visa’ to US!
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report, 2,291 Nepali applicants received H-1B visa in the period between 2012 and May 2018.
This is a remarkable achievement as Nepal held the 13th position six years ago.
H-1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers. It is issued for a specialty job role requiring theoretical and practical application of a person with specialized knowledge. Additionally, a person who requires the H-1B visa should have at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent.
According to USCIS, H-1B visa holders’ average annual income is USD 79, 165.
In another report published by the US State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Department a few months ago, Nepali students were found to be the ‘fastest growing international student population in US’.
The report recorded a 20 percent increase in Nepali student enrollments to US Higher Education Institutions in 2017, increasing the Nepali student population to 11,607
Although the enrollment data positioned Nepali students at ‘13th position’, their growth rate was higher compared to India with 12.3 percent, followed by Bangladesh’s 9.7 percent, Spain’s 7.9 percent, and China’s 6.8 percent.
Even the Nepal Education, Science and Technology Ministry record shows that 2,485 students were awarded ‘No Objection Certificates’ to pursue education in US. This puts Nepal on the fourth position after India, Australia, and Japan.
H-1B visa application process is very different from the processes for any other visa. Individuals cannot apply directly for an H-1B visa. Instead, US employer should apply on behalf of the applicant. Without a petitioning employer, you cannot apply for H1B visa.
1) Specialty Occupation
The applicant must demonstrate that they have the ability to work in specialty occupation by meeting the any of the following criteria:
2) Employer-Employee Relationship
The applicant should prove a valid employer-employee relation with the petitioning US employer. The petitioner must prove that it has right to control the work of the foreign employee and may hire, pay, fire or supervise them.
3) Prevailing Wage
The applicant must be paid the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher. The prevailing wage is the average wage paid to the workers with similar skills and qualifications in the requested occupation in the area of intended employment.
The H-1B visa has an annual cap or limit of 85,000 petitions each FY. The regular quota (first category) allows for 65,000 petitions for overseas workers in a specialty occupation. The second category of 20,000 visas is reserved for the masters’ quota.
Because of the strict limits, the H-1B visas are issued on a lottery basis if the number of visa applications exceed the annual visa cap.
The H-1B petitions can be submitted 6 months prior to the start of fiscal year. The US Government’s fiscal year starts on October 1. So, you can file the petition as soon as the window opens on the first business day in April.
The sponsor will file the petition for H1B visa on behalf of the employee. A 2-step process is followed for the petition.
The employer must file the Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the US Department of Labor (DOL). The processing may take a week or so.
Upon LCA approval, the employer has to file Form I-129, the required filing fee and other supporting documentation including the approved LCA with the USCIS.
The processing time for H1B petition will depend on how it was filed – regular or premium. You can track your H1B status with the petition receipt number on USCIS website.
After completion of the H-1B petition, the applicant should complete a visa application form, pay the fee and appear for the visa interview at the nearest applicable US consulate in the home country.
One of the prominent steps that the applicant will have to go through prior to procuring a H1B visa is attending a personal interview. Based on the performance in the interview, the applicant may or may not receive the H-1B visa.
So, it’s imperative for the applicants to be prepared to answer anything the interviewer might potentially ask.
In the need of the hour, to help you best prepare for your H-1B visa interview we have made a list of commonly asked interview questions.
1) General Questions-
2) Educational Qualification Questions
3) Work Experience Questions
4) US Employer Questions
Every year, thousands of foreign students and workers are gaining employment opportunities in the American companies that are trying to fill positions that require special knowledge or education.
Due to the high demand for educational and employment opportunities in the USA, the H-1B applicants are advised to keep updated with the latest news on the H1B visa and plan accordingly.