Website Q & A - January 31, 2007
Will I have a problem getting an H-1B visa or not? I have a degree
in fashion and am working for a company in my field.
Dear Mr. Lee,
I graduated with a bachelor's degree in fashion design and will
be working as an assistant with a U.S. clothing manufacturer. The
company has approximately 50 employees and my salary will be $21,000
per year on a full-time basis. I have optional practical training
until October 2007 and my employer is willing to sponsor me for
the H-1B visa. Can I do it?
Your degree and employer appear to be a match to allow you to apply
for an H-1B specialized occupation visa, but your position is one
that would generally not be regarded as professional by U.S.C.I.S.
Unless your degree is actually required to do the job, the job would
not be seen as a specialized occupation for H-1B purposes. Further
your salary does not appear to meet the standards for an H-1B prevailing
wage. I suggest that you speak with your employer to see whether
it would be willing to give you a more professional position at
a higher wage. I note that we have seen situations in which employers
intentionally start out new employees very low in the first two-three
months to see how they work out before giving them a true professional
position. If such is your employer's strategy, the company might
be amenable to advancing your promotion in light of your visa status.
If the employer is not willing to do so, you might seek other options
including looking for another employer.