Commonly known as the professional visa, this visa is designed for employees who will be offered “professional jobs” in the United States to work with a U.S. Employer. The occupation requires specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher (or equivalent) in the specialty or related. To qualify for a specialty occupation, the beneficiary must have education, specialized training, and/or progressively responsible experience that is equivalent to the completion of a U.S. Bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation. Upon approval of the H-1B visa, the employer must pay the prevailing wage set by the Department of Labor for this profession. With the H-1B visa you may be admitted for a period of up to three years initially. Your H-1B validity may be extended, but generally cannot go beyond a total of six years, though some exceptions do apply under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21). The H-1B classification has an annual numerical limit (cap) of 65,000 new statuses/visas each fiscal year, which is granted via a lottery system which occurs typically in March of every year. An additional 20,000 petitions are allocated during the lottery to beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education. Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities, a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization, are not subject to this numerical cap, and do not have to go through the lottery system.