Advantages & Disadvantages
The H-1B status may be obtained for an initial period of not more than three years but may be extended up to a maximum of six years. This category benefits from the concept of "dual intent." This means that persons applying abroad for an H-1B visa need not prove to the U.S. consular official an intent to return to their home country, as opposed to other non-immigrant visa applicants. H-1B holders may seek a change of status to any other non-immigrant or immigrant status for which they are eligible.
Applications for H-1B require extensive documentation, and the employer must pay 100 percent of the "prevailing wage" set by the State Workforce Agency (SWA) for the occupation in which the international is to be employed.
UK departments should allow approximately four to five months for processing of the H-1B application. This includes preparation by UKIC and U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) processing time. H-1B holders are subject to Social Security taxes from the date they start working. Accompanying H-4 dependents may not seek employment in the U.S., but they are allowed to study.