H-1B1 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

What is the H-1B1 visa, and who is eligible for it?

The H1B1 category was created by the Free Trade Agreements signed with Chie and Singapore in 2003. The 6,800 available H1B1 visas each fiscal year (5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile) can be an excellent alternative to the H-1B visa for citizens of those countries. These visas are deducted from the 65,000 H-1B visas that are available worldwide each year.

What is a specialty occupation?

A specialty occupation is one that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a related field as a minimum qualification.

How do I apply for an H-1B1 visa?

The application process for an H-1B1 visa typically involves the following steps:

Obtain a job offer from a U.S. employer in a specialty occupation.

The employer files a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The employer files an H-1B1 visa petition (Form I-129) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Once the petition is approved, the applicant applies for the H-1B1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on an H-1B1 visa?

H-1B1 visa holders can generally stay in the U.S. for an initial period of up to 18 months. Extensions are possible in one-year increments, but the total stay cannot exceed 24 months.

Can my family members accompany me on an H-1B1 visa?

Yes, H-1B1 visa holders can bring their spouse and unmarried children (under 21) to the U.S. as dependents on H-4 visas. H-4 visa holders are not eligible to work but can attend school in the U.S.

Can I change employers while on an H-1B1 visa?

Yes, you can change employers while on an H-1B1 visa, but your new employer must file a new H-1B1 petition on your behalf. You can begin working for the new employer once the petition is approved.

Can I apply for U.S. permanent residency (a green card) while on an H-1B1 visa?

Yes, H-1B1 visa holders can pursue U.S. permanent residency (a green card) if they meet the eligibility criteria for a green card and their employer sponsors them for the process. The H-1B1 visa does not prohibit you from applying for a green card. Unlike H-1B and L visas, H-1B1 visas are not considered Dual intent visas. Therefore, a person in H-1B1 status, who files for permanent residence (a green card) may endanger their continued H-1B1 status.

Can I travel outside the U.S. while on an H-1B1 visa?

Yes, H-1B1 visa holders can travel outside the U.S. and re-enter, provided their visa is still valid. It’s essential to have the necessary travel documents and maintain your status.

How soon can I apply for an H-1B1 visa before starting work in the U.S.?

You can apply for an H-1B1 visa up to 90 days before your intended start date of employment in the U.S.
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Kai-Wen Yang
Kai-Wen Yang
Appreciate the Davidson Law Group for helping me secure approval for my H1b visa. The paralegal working with me was very responsive in answering the questions I had (usually always responded to my messages the day of my inquiry) and the answers were always detailed and professional. Would recommend working with the law group!
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Liviu Mosnoi
I had an amazing experience with Davidson Law Group for my immigration case. Their team was incredibly professional, knowledgeable, and attentive, making the entire process smooth and successful. I highly recommend them to anyone needing expert immigration legal support.
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Chinmay Warang
To the entire Davidson Law Group team, thank you so much for all the support during the past three years of my immigration journey in the US. They were especially supportive and responsive to all my queries about the different visas and were always prompt and kind. I especially appreciated it when Leyla got back to me beyond working hours on a Friday with, "Congratulations, your H1B has been picked." It definitely made my and my close ones' weekend a tad better. I would recommend them for sure just because I appreciated their humane approach to all of their cases. Kudos to all of you.
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Davidson Law Group provided exceptional service for my EAD extension process. Communication was clear, and they were always available to address any queries promptly. The entire process was smooth, and their expertise in immigration law ensured a hassle-free experience. I highly recommend them for anyone seeking reliable immigration legal services.

Dana Davidson - Full Bio

Dana T. Davidson holds degrees from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been practicing immigration law since 2003 in New York and nationwide. She represents corporations, individuals, and families in a broad range of immigration matters. Attorney Davidson has offices in New York City and Glen Cove.


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, New York
  • Juris Doctor – 1988
  • Honors: Moot Court Board, Member, Judge
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • Bachelor of Arts – 1982
  • Major: Political Science
  • Concentration: Business

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Safe Passage Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2013-Present
  • Educating the Educators, Founder, 2012-Present
  • Momentum Project, Board Member, 1991-1994 Bar Admission
  • New York, Eastern District
  • New York, Southern District
  • Washington, D.C.

Speaking Engagements
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Berlin, Germany, Speaker on “Public Charge” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa, Speaker: “Practice Management in the New Age” panel
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2018, Madrid, Spain, Speaker: “El Traje de Luces: Self-Sponsored Petitions – EB-1A and NIW”  AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2017, Brussels, Belgium, Speaker: “Continuing Blanket L Challenges”
  • Safe Passage Project, March 2017, Speaker: “Representing Unaccompanied Minors: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Effects of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Fall Conference 2016, Speaker: “It’s Not About Money: I-864”
  • AILA RDC-EMEA Spring Conference 2016, Vienna, Austria, Speaker: “K-Visa: Differences Between K-1 and I-130 Processing”
  • New York Institute of Technology’s Center for Entrepreneurship, January 2016, Entrepreneur/Executive-in-Residence
  • AILA Fall Conference 2015, London, UK, Speaker: Impact of joint sponsors on family-based cases
  • Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business Education Program, October 2014, “What is required to grow a business?”
  • Dowling College, May 2013, Keynote Speaker at the first annual Latino Summit at Dowling College
  • International Taxation Conference, 2010