Atlanta’s Best Immigration Attorneys

Atlanta’s Best Immigration Attorneys

What is a specialty occupation?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Visas

Working in the United States can give you opportunities to advance in your career, expand your network and live in the land of the free. One of the employment visas that can open those doors for you is the H-1B visa. One of its key requirements, however, is that candidates work in a specialty occupation; what does this mean?

A specialty occupation is any job that requires the theoretical and practical application of technical skills and a particular type of expertise such as those in the fields of engineering, medicine, agriculture or information technology.

Examples of specialty occupations include university professors, financial analysts, scientists, healthcare workers, lawyers, architects and surgeons. Technically, any profession that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher may qualify as a specialty qualification.

H-1B visa specialty occupation qualifications

At a minimum, you must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent for the specialty. H-1B visa sponsors often seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree or above due to the specialized nature of the roles they are trying to fill.

If you do not have a bachelor’s degree or higher, you may still be eligible if you have recognition of expertise. You may demonstrate your competence through a track record of holding progressively more responsible positions relevant to the specialty occupation. In other words, you must show that your career has continuously evolved, requiring greater responsibility and more challenging or specialized skills.

To prove recognition, you will have to supply documentation. This can come in the form of letters from past employers, professors or peers; textbook authoring; and other prestigious honors.

Your potential employer will initiate your visa application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Aside from your qualifications, the job offer you receive from the employer must also satisfy the USCIS’ requirements.

Finding gainful employment in the United States is an appealing prospect for many. Nevertheless, requirements such as specialty occupation can be a source of frustration. Additionally, due to high demand, the USCIS only awards a limited number of candidates through an H-1B visa lottery once a year.

Therefore, it is absolutely essential to meet every requirement perfectly. Doing as much research and planning as possible before taking on a new job in the United States can help.