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The H-1B Might Be a Good Option for You if...

Updated: May 3

By Colleen Wright

Account Manager ProfVal

In our blog posts, we routinely share perspectives from others regarding the H-1B. We are not affiliated with these organizations. Neither nor offer legal advice.


The H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is a temporary employment visa for positions that qualify as a specialty occupation, and is one of the main visa options for work in the United States for foreign students who graduated from U.S. colleges. In fact, there were 122,893 initial H-1B approvals across 27,808 employers in 2020 alone! (See h1bexpert’s analysis here).

The appropriateness of the H-1B for you can depend on many factors, including your intended job and desired length of stay in the U.S.

Next, we give examples of the types of people for whom an H-1B might be a good option (assuming you meet the qualifications).

When is the H-1B a great option for you?

The H-1B can be a great option for foreign students

“The H-1B is the most commonly used work visa by international students…this is particularly geared toward people who have graduated from a university with at least a 4-year degree.”1

Read more: David Ware, Ware Immigration

The H-1B can be a great option after OPT ends

“For emerging professionals who wish to remain in the U.S…we highlight four potential options after OPT expires. Option number one: apply for an H-1B visa.”

Read more: Karen-Lee Pollak, Pollak Immigration

The H-1B can be a great option when you are considering applying for a green card

“The H-1B visa is a ‘dual intent’ visa, which means it’s possible to simultaneously apply for Lawful Permanent Residence, or a green card, while in the U.S. on H-1B non- immigrant status.”

Read more: Jason Finkelman, Finkelman Law

“Every situation is unique, but if your long-term goal is to get a green card, for most people it makes more sense to get on an H-1B, and while you’re on an H-1B, file for a green card. Here’s why: with some exceptions, normally a green card is going to take in the range of 2 to 3 years…and for most people, you’re not going to be able to work or live in the United States while that application is pending...but if you have an H-1B, then you can live and work in the U.S, and you can travel abroad. Then if you file for the green card while you’re in H1B status, you basically would live in the United States and go on with life as normal, while your green card application is processing simultaneously.”

Listen to the Webinar: Aaron Blumberg, Immigration Hour Q&A with Fragomen and Interstride

The H-1B can be a great option if you are applying for roles with nonprofits or universities

“Congress has deemed certain organizations exempt from the annual H-1B lottery. These organizations can always sponsor H-1B work visas without numerical limit, any time of year. These "cap-exempt organizations'' include universities, nonprofits affiliated with universities, non-profit research institutions, and government research institutions.”2

Read more: Sophie Alcorn, Business Insider and Alcorn Law Blog

Partly because of its simplicity, the H-1B visa is extremely popular. And because the number of available H-1B visas is limited, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) often receives more registrations than there are available visas (learn more about the registration process).

This means that not everyone who applies for an H-1B will get one. In our next blog post, we share insights from experts who discuss other visa options.

Additional sourcing: [1] [2] is owned by ProfVal, LLC. ProfVal is the purpose-driven, professor-founded, and ethically-grounded Expert Opinion Letter (EOL) leader. Neither ProfVal nor H1bexpert provide legal advice.

All of the content mentioned herein represents the individual opinions of the author or authors, but none of it should be taken as legal advice.  All content is provided freely and without any warranties, guarantees, or liabilities.  In no event shall the writers or providers of this content be liable for any damages or other liability resulting from the opinions shared herein.

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