Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

H-1B Visa: Graduate or Skilled Worker Employment

 – Welcome Page –
 – H-1B Visa: Graduate and Skilled Workers
 – Media and Entertainment Professionals
 – E2 Visa Investors Take the Plunge –
 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform May 2010 –

H-1B Visa Graduate Level Employment

The H-1B visa is an extremely popular visa for those aliens who have a BA degree or higher who have found a job that requires a BA degree as the minimum entry level requirements. In the alternative a good H-1B visa candidate is also someone who has at least 12 years progressive experience in a given field that rises to the level where someone with a degree would normally be accepted into that role.  If you’re not sure whether your job requires a BA degree or not, please check with a website called O*Net Online

I’m going to give you a working example so you know how to use this excellent resource. Ok, if you click on the top right section called Career Cluster you can search for almost any mainstream occupation. 

Example 1: If you go to the Career Cluster window there is a drop down window. Click on that and then select  ‘Business, Management and Administration’. Once you enter, you’ll then be given a list of jobs that come under that category. Select the first one listed ‘Computer Operators’ – (you will also notice that each job has a number. The reference number for a ‘Computer Operator’ is 43-9011.00. This number can be used on other similar websites.)  If you click on the 'Computer Operators' option you will then be taken to a 'Summary Report' that basically describes in detail what 'Computer Operators' do. Scroll down this page until you get to the section called 'Job Zone' and under that section you want to focus on these areas- the ‘Education’, ‘Job Training’ section and the ‘SVP Range’. 

For the 'Education' section it says in essence that only a modest amount of education is required, perhaps an Associate Degree, which is half a BA degree.  For the 'Job Training' section you want to see some commentary that indicates that a BA degree is usually required for this job or extensive training/experience.  In this example, for 'Computer Operators' only one to two years training is required.

Under the 'SVP Range' section, this is an indicator as to the degree of skill required for the job. For H-1B level jobs you really want the SVP range to be 7 – 8+. In this example the SVP range is 6-7.  Therefore, Computer Operators do not qualify for the H-1B visa. 

Example 2: If you go back to the 'Business, Management and Administration' home page and this time select Financial Manager' (11-3031.02) if you go to the 'Job Zone' section you will notice under the 'Education', 'Job Training Requirements' and 'SVP indicators',  it’s very clear that this is a position for senior personnel with a BA or equivalent and the job range is between 7-8. 

So you can research any job and see whether or not the job you’re doing now or maybe offered will fit into the H-1B BA degree or 12 years experience requirement. 

H-1B Prevailing Wage Issues

The O*Net online site also provides you with good information about what the average pay in the US is for each job. 

Example 3: If you go back to the 'Financial Manager’' job (11-3031.02), but this time scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see that the 'Median Wage', (average wage),  is $99,330. If you scroll down a little further you will see a link where you can enter a State name. If you enter 'New York' you’ll be taken to a page that provides you with a more detailed breakdown as to the lowest – highest pay scales. As an alien looking for employment you want to be pitching yourself somewhere in the middle for an H-1B. There is another website called the 'Foreign Labor Data Certification Center' that provides wage information on a city-by-city basis. This is an excellent resource to further narrow down pay determinations. 

H-1B Visa – Current Availability
As of April 2010 USCIS were saying that they had so far received 13,500 of the available 65,000.  There is also a special 20,000 H-1B quota reserved for those aliens who obtained their MA or higher from a US university and of those they had received 5,600 applications. This is a healthy sign, since it could be an indication that the H-1B visa may be available right through until August – which is pretty exciting. Remember that for those aliens looking to work for a non-profit organization these H-1B visas are not subject to any quota so they are available all year around.

How to find an H-1B Job:

Many people search the internet for jobs in the US and there are many sites out there that will take your money in exchange for giving you advantage in finding H-1B jobs. In truth, there is no such thing as an H-1B job, there are just jobs. Employers have vacancies that need to be filled and if that job happens to be of a standard where it could be categorized as an H-1B, then great. The question is, will they hire an alien from across the pond or beyond? The answer is, probably not – unless that alien has a highly sophisticated skill and the employer is now looking overseas because they exhausted all efforts in the US. 

Virtually every client I’ve ever had for an H-1B found their job because they were either already

 here in the US on another visa and had made personal contact with the company and that company recruiter was won over. Or, the alien had a close friend, contact, ally that was able to get them an interview and at the interview the employer was won over to make the investment to hire from overseas. There are also head-hunters looking for gifted and talented candidates, but even these head-hunters start their search closest to home to avoid any US Immigraiton red tape. 

So yes, there are H-1B visas going begging, but you’ve got to come here as quickly as possible to network your way into an interview situation. Most employers would not have heard of an H-1B visa so if you’re given an interview then you need to educate them and if necessary contact this office for pre-interview advice on how best to pitch yourself when the US Immigration issue comes up. 

You can visit under the 90-day Visa Waiver Program or you can enroll as an F1 Student Visa to buy yourself a lot more time to find a H1-B job. 

There’s a lot to learn about the H-1B so please check out my H-1B links and also my EB2 links. 

Contact me as soon as you feel you need help and of course if you have a potential job offer lined up as we really can’t do much without that job offer in view.

By Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ.

Welcome Page –
H-1B Visa: Graduate and Skilled Workers
Media and Entertainment Professionals
 E2 Visa Investors Take the Plunge –
 Comprehensive Immigration Reform May 2010 –

By Attorney Chris M. Ingram
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Admitted in New York
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
Suite 300, 23822 Valencia Blvd,
Valencia, California 91355

Tel: 661 254 8064

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients. 


General Location:  Santa Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Serving all 50 States
Copyright 2010


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