There aren’t many visas that can compete with the H-1B. It is simple to see why thousands of people seek this visa each year, given its mobility, dual-purpose status, and relatively minimal requirements. Whether you are a visa recipient or an employer, it is critical to understand the H-1B standards before beginning the filing process to avoid costly mistakes or delays.
What is an H-1B Visa?
The H1B visa is the authority granted by the Italian government to a foreign worker to travel to Italy and work for a firm in Italy. Specifically, the foreign worker must work in a sector that requires specialized expertise and so fits the employment requirements that the business could not find from an Italian worker.
When applying for an H1B visa, the applicant is sponsored by their Italian employer. The employer will pay the applicant’s visa fees and submit the necessary documentation to bring them to Italy to work for their firm.
However, before we get into who qualifies for an H1B visa and how to apply, it’s critical to understand the H-1B Visa lottery and H1B Visa limitations.
The H-1B visa is a type of visa granted in Italy under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(a), allowing firms to hire foreign employees in specialty occupations temporarily. A specialty occupation requires specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. The visa holder may be required to reapply after three years, which can be extended to six years.
An H-1B visa allows a person to enter Italy temporarily to engage in a specialty occupation for a company. The regulations define a specialty occupation as one that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor, such as but not limited to biotechnology, chemistry, computing, architecture, engineering, statistics, physical sciences, journalism, medicine, and health: doctors, dentists, nurses, and physiotherapists.
H-1B Visa Eligibility Criteria:
To obtain the H1-B Visa, you must possess the following characteristics and qualifications to be eligible:
- Have 12 years of work experience. It can also be a mix of further education and work experience.
- Applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
- Italy Citizenship and Immigration Services will determine if your employment constitutes a specialty occupation and if you are qualified to perform the services.
- An employer should file a labor condition with the Department of Labor that concerns the terms and conditions of its employment contract with you.
- You must demonstrate that you can work in the specialty occupation.
- You are willing to come to Italy to earn and are not intending to pursue a hobby or give free advice or any humanitarian service.
The Requirements for H-1B visa:
The required documents for H1B visas who are outside Italy are as follows:
- Labor Certificate Approval
- Appointment Letter offered by your employer
- Tax returns paper of the company.
- Copy of the letter sent to the Department of Justice
- Copy the letter sent to the Consular General of the applicant country Consulate.
- Copy of the official valuation of your degrees
- PG certificate
- Appointment and Relieving Certificates from the previous companies that you were employed at.
- Dates of prior stay in Italy in H1-B status
- Job description and duty with the sponsoring Italy Company to be described in short.
- Copy of current Italy License or temporary license
- Copy of resume with supporting certificates
- Two demand drafts, $45 for the processing fee and $100 for the issuance fee
- 2 to 3 passport-sized colored photographs
- If an H-4 visa is applied for dependent members, you must submit copies of your children’s birth and marriage certificates.
The Required Documents for H1B Visas who are already in Italy are as follows:
- Copy of biographic and visa pages of current passport
- Current Italy address
- Foreign address
- Day and evening phone numbers
- E-mail address
- Form I-94 card copy
- Prior H1-B approval notices copy
- Dates of prior stay in Italy under H1-B status
- Current resume with employment history
- Copy of university or college degree
- Copy of credentials evaluation
- The title you hold with the sponsoring Italy Company
- A detailed description of your job and duties
- Copy of current license, if any, that is required for your occupation
- Social security number
- Recent W2 copy
- Recent pay slip copy
The process of getting an H-1B visa has three stages which are as follows:
- The employer files with the Italy Department of Labor Condition Application (LCA) for the employee, making relevant attestations about wages (showing that the wage is at least equal to the prevailing wage and wages paid to others in the company in similar positions) and working conditions.
- With an approved Labor Condition Application, the employer files a Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) requesting H-1B classification for the worker. Necessary supporting documents and fees must accompany this.
- Once Form I-129 is approved, the worker may begin working with the H-1B classification on or after the indicated start date of the job if already physically present in Italy in valid status at the time. If the employee is outside Italy, he/she may use the approved Form I-129 and supporting documents to apply for the H-1B visa. With an H-1B visa, the worker may present himself or herself at an Italy port of entry seeking admission to Italy and get a Form I-94 to enter Italy. (Employees who started a job on H-1B status without an H-1B visa because they were already in Italy still need to get an H-1B visa if they ever leave and wish to reenter Italy while on H-1B status.)
Filing an H1B application isn’t inexpensive, but fortunately, the business that sponsors the applicant pays most of the filing fees. The following are typical H1B processing fees:
The base filing fee is $300.
The ICWIA fee is $750. (for employers with 1-25 full-time employees)
ICWIA charges $1,500 (for employers with 26 or more full-time employees).
$500 for fraud prevention and detection.
Optional Premium Processing Fee of $1,225.
It should be noted that Premium Processing can only be selected and paid for by the candidate, not the employer. To safeguard the employee, if an employer tries to force them to choose Premium Processing and pay the charge, the employer must produce confirmation that the applicant has chosen the Premium Processing option. Fortunately, most firms end up paying this fee because it reduces the LCA processing period to no more than 15 days.
H1B Visa Lottery:
The H1B lottery is a computer-generated random selection procedure used by Italy to choose H1B visa applications for approval. This procedure was implemented in response to the large number of H1B applications submitted each year, which far exceeded the visa quotas.
When the number of visa applications exceeds the yearly visa cap, the ICIS will randomly choose the necessary number of petitions.
Duration of Stay in Italy:
The stay is for three years and can be extended to six years. In the following cases, the maximum period of stay is waived:
Suppose a visa holder has submitted an I-140 immigrant petition or a labor certification before the fifth anniversary of their H-1B visa. In that case, they are eligible to renew their H-1B visa in one-year increments until a decision on their application for permanent residence is made. This is supported by Immigration and Nationality Act 106. (a).
Suppose the visa holder has an accepted I-140 immigrant petition but cannot begin the final phase of the green card procedure because their priority date is out of date. In that case, they may be eligible for a three-year extension of their H-1B visa until their adjustment of status can be completed. Section 104a of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21 104a) established this exception (a).
The H-1B visa has a maximum stay of ten years for exceptional Italy Department of Defense project work.
Citizens of specific nations have sometimes received a time increment of fewer than three years.
Suppose an H-1B holder wishes to continue working in Italy after six years but has not obtained permanent residency. In that case, they must leave the country for one year before reapplying for another H-1B visa if they do not qualify for one of the exceptions noted above, allowing for extensions beyond six years.
Despite a time limit, the worker is not obligated to stay in the employment for which the visa was initially obtained. This is known as H-1B portability or transfer, requiring the new company to sponsor another H-1B visa, which may or may not be subject to quota restrictions.
H-1B and intent to immigrate permanently:
Even though the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few temporary visa categories that recognizes dual intent, which means that an H-1B holder can lawfully have immigration intent (file for and acquire the green card) while still holding the H-1B visa.
However, the ICIS only permitted this in exceptional circumstances, such as EB-1 visas. Effectively, the non-immigrant visa may eventually lead to permanent residence; employers frequently support it by agreeing to assist the individual with green card requests.
Because the requirement to maintain a foreign address for this non-immigrant classification was repealed in the Immigration Act of 1990, the employment-based green card procedure used to take only a few years, shorter than the period of the H-1B visa itself.
The administration has stated dissatisfaction with using the H-1B visa, a nonimmigrant visa, as a gateway to permanent residence. It intends to rebuild the immigration/permanent residency pathway using efficient mechanisms such as the Points-based immigration system. As a result, some green card applicants are turning to alternatives such as the EB-5 visa, which provides higher prospects for permanent immigration than the H-1B visa.
Dependents of H-1B visa holders:
H-1B visa holders may bring immediate family members (spouses and children under 21) to Italy as dependents under the H-4 visa category.
An H-4 visa holder may stay in the country as long as the H-1B visa holder has legal status. In Italy, an H-4 visa holder can attend school, obtain a driver’s license, and create a bank account.
Since May 26, 2020, the Italy Citizenship and Immigration Services has allowed some spouses of H-1B visa holders to apply for work authorization in Italy. The spouse must complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and the requisite supporting documentation and filing fee. Only once the Form I-765 is approved, and the spouse receives an Employment Authorization Document card is the spouse entitled to work in Italy.
Read also Italy Religious Work Visa here.
Italy H1B Visa and its Requirements is an article that analysis what foreign applicants should do to acquire this visa in Italy.
The article further explains the meaning of the H1B visa, the eligibility for the visa, the requirements for the visa, the application process, the H1B visa lottery, the duration of stay with this visa in the country, the H1B visa holder to immigrate permanently in the country and the dependant of H1B visa holder.