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The 5 main H-1B visa requirements

The H-1B visa is a specialty occupation visa. If you're interested in applying for one in Georgia, it's important to know these five requirements:

-- An employer in the United States has to be involved with the petition, and you must be an employee of that company.

-- You must be classified as eligible for a specialty occupation based on special knowledge and skills that you possess and/or your degrees and level of education.

-- The job you want to do has to be connected to the area that you are studying.

-- The pay that you get has to be the prevailing wage in said occupation, or the actual wage. To qualify, you need to get whichever one of those wages is higher.

-- Space must be open for you under the cap. This cap is typically set at 65,000 visas per year. However, the initial 20,000 petitions sent in by those who have at least master's degrees do not count toward this cap. Still, that means that the overall max is 85,000. Even if you meet the other qualifications, you may be denied if the cap has been met.

Essentially, these qualifications are just in place to show that you actually need to be granted a visa because your skills and abilities are not commonly found in the workforce, thus making you a specialty candidate.

Before applying, be sure that you at least meet these base requirements. You do not want to be denied simply because you didn't provide all of the proper information or because you applied for a visa for which you were never qualified, when another one may have been a better choice.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Understanding H-1B Requirements," accessed Oct. 12, 2016

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