Can I be admitted to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation?
Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Many people are admitted to the U.S. to work in “specialty occupations.” You may be wondering if you qualify.
For you to be admitted to the U.S. to work in a “specialty occupation,” your prospective employer must file a “Labor Condition Application” with the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor must then determine that the job for which your employer wants to hire you, is a “specialty occupation.”
To qualify as a “specialty occupation,” a job must meet one of the following criteria:
The job normally requires a four-year college degree, or higher, or its equivalent; or
The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions with similar employers, or the particular position is so complex or unique, that only a person with a degree can perform the job; or
The employer normally requires a degree for the job; or
The job has specific duties that are so complex, that the knowledge required to do the job, is normally associated with the completion for a four-year degree or higher degree.
In addition, you personally must meet one of the following qualifications:
A four-year college degree, or higher, required by the specialty occupation. Your degree must be from an accredited college or university, or a foreign degree equivalent to a degree from an accredited college or university.
An unrestricted state license that allows you to practice the specialty occupation in the state of intended employment;
Education, specialized training, or progressively responsible experience, that is equivalent to a four-year college degree or higher in the specialty occupation, and be recognized as an expert in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.
If the Department of Labor determines that your prospective job is a “specialty occupation,” the Labor Department will then send your employer a certified Labor Condition Application. Then, your employer must file Form I-129, with the USCIS. Your employer should send the Labor Condition Application, along with Form I-129, to USCIS. If USCIS approves the Form I-129, you will then be able to apply for an H-1B visa. Once your H-1B visa is granted, you will be able to enter the U.S. Your spouse, and your unmarried children under 21, may also be admitted to the U.S.
For further information on being admitted to the U.S. to work in a specialty occupation, click here.