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H1-B is an employment based non-immigrant employment visa. H1-B visa category enables United States employers to bring skilled foreign employees to the United States for temporary employment. A United States employer may hire a foreign national from within or outside the United States. The first step is to determine the prevailing wage for the position. The prevailing wage must be approved by the Department of Labor. The employment offer must contain the prevailing wage.

The United States employer, through its lawyer, will submit a labor condition application to the Department of Labor. If the application is approved, a labor certification will be issued for the employee and the position. However, before the application is approved and the certification issued, the job position will be advertised in a recognized daily newspaper. All responding applicants that meet the minimum qualification will be interviewed. If the employer is unable to find a qualified United States citizen or permanent resident for the advertised position, the labor condition application will be approved and the labor certification will be issued.

Upon approval of the labor certification, the employer/foreign employee will then apply for H1-B visa from the United States citizen and Immigration Services. H1-B visas are issued for a three-year period. It is subject to renewal for another three years. The maximum life of an H1-B is six years. Those with H1-B visas can apply for green card, but the process for green card based on employment is the same as illustrated above; that is, H1-B does not lead to green card. However, H1-B enables the foreign employee to maintain current non-immigrant status pending the completion of the process for green card based on employment.