As what we call the H-1B Season approaches its peak hour, we at Immitips get a lot of queries from applicants who have missed this years application deadline somehow or the other. Almost every year, many among the ones who missed out come to us for clarification – what went wrong? And more often then not, they are confused about which quota they are actually applying for.
As per definition, the H-1B is an employment based non immigrant visa for temporary workers. Now, H1B visas are for specialty occupation, which means jobs that require the applicants to have specialized skill and knowledge in a certain subject AND a bachelors degree or its equivalent at least. The H-1Bs are generally sponsored by the employer based in the US, who has to offer a job to the applicant and then apply for his or her H-1 visa petition with US immigration dept.
Annually, the H-1B quota is 65,000. Out of this, 6,800 H-1B numbers are reserved for nationals of Singapore and Chile, which leaves 58,200 for the rest of the world.
H-1B Masters Quota
Now H-1B Masters quota is reserved for foreign students who have finished their Master’s degree or equivalent in the US. As per USCIS guidelines, to qualify for Master’s quota, the applicants needs to have completed his or her Master’s complete with submission of thesis and all other formalities. Apart from that, the other requirements remain the same as the regular H-1B; specialized skills and knowledge.
The H1B Masters Quota is 20,000 and this number is additional to the 65,000 allotted for regular H-1B.
Which quota should you apply under?
Now, unless and until you have completed your masters in the US, you cannot really apply under the H1B Masters quota. However, if you have this qualification, then we suggest you apply under Master as this quota as not facing the staggering demands faced by the regular H-1B.
However, if you have still studying in the US and have not finished you Master’s you can apply under the H-1B regular quota. Of course you will then be competing with thousands of applicants from overseas workers.
If you are a Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree holder from any country other then the US, you can only apply under the regular H-1B Cap.