H-1B is an employment based, non immigrant visa category for temporary workers. H-1B is an employer sponsored visa category whereby an employer must offer a job to the employee and apply for your H-1B visa petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the employee. This approved petition is a work permit which allows the employee to get a visa stamp and work in the U.S. for that employer.
H-1B is issued to a specialty occupation, requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent. The total length of stay allowed under the H-1B visa 6 years. The initial approval is for 3 years and it can be extended for increment of up to 3 additional years. H-1B aliens may work for more than one U.S. employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by each employer. The visa must be issued in any other country at any U.S. consulate. Once the visa is issued, it allows the employee multiple entry into the U.S. within the specified visa validity. Moreover, the spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of H-1B professionals are allowed to stay in the United States under the H4 category for the same duration as the H-1B status. In addition, an H-1B holder is eligible to seek, permanent residency to USA.
As long as the employee continues to provide H-1B services for a U.S. employer, most changes will not mean that an alien is out of status. An employee may change H-1B employers without affecting his or her status, but the new H-1B employer must file a new Form I-129 petition for the employee before he or she begins working for the new employer. The merger or sale of an H-1B employer’s business will not affect the employee status in many instances. However, if the change means that the employee is working in a capacity other than the specialty occupation for which they petitioned, it is a status violation.