The H-1B visa, a non-immigrant visa, allows foreign nationals who have gained specialized professional expertise through a degree or work experience to gain employment with US companies. The visa is key for international b-school students looking to continue living and working in the US after graduation.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced it will accept applications between March 1st and March 17th for H-1B visas for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
USCIS caps H-1B visa allocations at 85,000 visas per year; however business school students have an advantage as 20,000 visas are set aside for workers holding advanced degrees such as an MBA or Master's from a US institution. The final 65,000 applications are chosen through a lottery process.
This visa is a sought-after route for post-graduate employment for international students. Visa holders can stay in the US for up to three years, which can be extended for a further three years. This can lead to more permanent residency, as spending six years in the US opens up pathways to permanent residency or Green Card.
How do I get one?
To get an H-1B visa, you need to be sponsored by an employer who will petition the USCIS on your behalf.
H-1B visas are essential for companies who rely on a highly-skilled workforce, such as tech companies and consulting firms. Top MBA recruiters including Amazon, Apple, and McKinsey offer H-1B sponsorship to highly skilled graduates.
High demand for H-1B visas has led to calls for reforms to the program. Advocates are asking for an increase in the number of applications that are accepted. In 2022, only 26% of the total 483,000 applications were received.
Advocates argue that the US needs skilled immigrant workers to stay ahead in innovation and technological developments.
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