Visa Occupation List: Priority Migration Occupation List

By December 9, 2020Immigration Law Blog
Visa Occupation List

When we talk about the Visa occupation list, we are referring to the H-1B specialty occupations visa. This is a non-immigrant Visa status that applies to foreign nationals who intend to “perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.”

Visa Occupation List: Priority Migration Occupation List

There are actually three categories of H-1B Visas. The H-1B Specialty Occupations Visa, the H-1B2 DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker, and the H-1B3 for Fashion Models. Let’s begin by talking about H-1B visa.

H-1B Visa

The USCIS general eligibility requirements for the H-1B visa according to USCIS’s official website are as follows:

“The occupation requires:

  • Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; and
  • Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

The position must also meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the particular position
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organization or, in the alternative, the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.*

For you to qualify to perform services in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment

Have education, specialized training, and/or progressively responsible experience that is equivalent to the completion of a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.**”

It is also important to note that a labor condition application is required for the H-1B visa:

“The prospective petitioner must include a Form ETA-9035/9035E, Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by the Department of Labor (DOL), with the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.”

The H-1B Visa can be granted to any of the following professions:

  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Architects
  • Biologists
  • Budget and Management Analysts
  • Chemists
  • Civil Engineers
  • College and University Educators
  • Database Administrators
  • Data Communication and Network Administrators
  • Economists
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineers
  • Financial Analysts
  • Graphic Designers and Artists
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Sales and Distribution Managers
  • Software Engineers
  • Statisticians
  • Surveyors
  • Systems Analysts and Programmers
  • Teachers, Primary and Secondary Schools
  • Therapists

The H-1B2 Visa

The H-1B2 Visa does not require a labor condition application. USCIS general eligibility requirements for the H-1B2 visa according to USCIS’s official website are as follows:

“The job must require a bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent, to perform the duties.  The petition must be accompanied by:

  1. A verification letter from the DOD project manager for the particular project stating that the beneficiary will be working on a cooperative research and development project or a coproduction project under a reciprocal Government-to-Government agreement administered by DOD. Details about the specific project are not required.
  2. A general description of the beneficiary’s duties on the particular project and the actual dates of the beneficiary’s employment on the project.
  3. A statement indicating the names of aliens currently employed on the project in the United States and their dates of employment and the names of aliens whose employment on the project ended within the past year.

To be eligible for this classification you must have a baccalaureate or higher degree or its equivalent in the occupational field in which you will be performing services. This requirement can be met based on one of the following criteria:

  • Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the duties from an accredited college or university
  • Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university
  • Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the duties of the job and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment
  • Have education, specialized training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.**”

H-1B3 Visa

The USCIS general eligibility requirements for the H-1B3 visa according to USCIS’s official website are as follows:

“The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence.

To be eligible for this visa category you must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.”

A Labor condition application is also required for this category of visa.

“The prospective petitioner must include a  Form ETA-9035/9035E, Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by the Department of Labor (DOL), with the Form I-129.”

Do You Have H-1B Visa Occupation List Questions?

If you have questions relating to the H-1B visa or the priority migration occupations list, Nelson and Associates can help! Just give us a call today at 626-683-3451 to set up an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you!

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