The H-1B visa category permits eligible foreign nationals to enter the United States to work in specialty occupations. However, the visa does not offer a direct pathway to lawful permanent residence (green card), as it is a nonimmigrant visa. 

Currently, the H-1B visa is one of the hardest categories in terms of requirements and annual cap, so applicants must pay attention to detail and proceed strategically if they want to succeed.  

In this article, you will find out the list of common specialty occupations for H-1B status. 

What Are Specialty Occupations for H1B? – Understanding USCIS Requirements 

As provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the H-1B nonimmigrant classification applies to foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States to: 

  • Perform services in specialty occupations (H-1B) 
  • Perform services of exceptional merit and ability related to the US Department of Defense in a cooperative research and development project (H-1B2) 
  • Perform services as distinguished fashion models (H-1B3) 

Most applicants petition to attain an H-1B Specialty Occupations visa, which is the most common option within this category. To enter the United States to fulfill a specialty occupation, applicants must prove they: 

  • Possess theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized knowledge 
  • Have attained a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum standard requirement for the desired occupation 

Plus, the position pursued by the applicant must meet at least one of the USCIS criteria, which are:  

  • The minimum entry requirement for that specific position requires at least a bachelor’s degree (or higher) 
  • The complexity or uniqueness of the job’s nature requires it to be performed exclusively by professionals with a degree 
  • The employer typically requires a college degree (or its equivalent) for that specific position in that particular business industry (e.g., aerospace engineering) 
  • The nature of the duties associated with the job requires the applicant to have knowledge that is commonly associated with the attainment of a degree 

What Are Specialty Occupations for H1B? – Taking a Closer Look 

Although it is not possible to compile an exhaustive list of all professions that may qualify as specialty occupations for an H-1B visa, it is not hard to identify the most common professional segments wherein successful H-1B applicants work. 

Education, Law, and Media  

The H-1B classification applies to eligible university professors and teachers, teachers in elementary or secondary schools, and technical publications writers. Other professions include lawyers, eligible foreign law advisors, journalists, editors, and some other media-related jobs. 

Healthcare Workers  

Healthcare quality is a major concern in the United States, so exceptional professionals in this segment are usually welcomed when they apply for an H-1B visa – as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. In this sense, the H-1B applies to: 

  • Nurses  
  • Physicians 
  • Surgeons  
  • Dentists  
  • Psychologists  

Economy and Finance  

Financial services are crucial in United States’ dynamic economy, so professionals like accountants, financial analysts, management consultants, and market research analysts may succeed when applying to occupy specialty occupations under H-1B status. 

Science and Technology  

Some of the most common professions among H-1B visa holders include skilled workers in the segment of science and technology, which includes scientists, IT/computer professionals, engineers, architects, and systems analysts. 

Do You Want to Enter the United States to Work in an H1B Specialty Occupation? – Consult with an Expert Immigration Attorney Today  

Waste no time – call Immigration Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email [email protected] to schedule a consultation.