To qualify for an H-1B visa for temporary specialty workers, you must satisfy the following H-1B visa requirements (which come from the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) at § 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b); and the immigration regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 214(h)):
The job you have been offered must itself meet certain criteria, including at least one of the following:
Even if you successfully meet all these criteria, it is also necessary to show that your background is a match for the job you are offered. If your academic and professional credentials are strong, but they do not quite fit the job requirements, then you are not eligible for an H-1B visa.
For more on the types of jobs that work best, see Best Types of Jobs To Get an Employment-Based Green Card.
Although fashion models may qualify for H-1B visas, they need not meet the same specialty occupation requirements. Instead, they must show that they are nationally or internationally recognized for their achievements, and that they will be employed in a position requiring someone of distinguished merit and ability. They must be renowned, leading, or well known.
For more information on H-1B visas for fashion models, see the USCIS regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(vii). The regulations do a good job of spelling out the documentary and other requirements.
If a license to practice your particular occupation is required by the U.S. state in which you will be working then, in addition to your educational credentials, you will also need to obtain the appropriate license.
Many highly qualified workers should not look to H-1B visas as their best strategy for U.S. entry. For example, H-1Bs are only rarely given to prominent businesspeople without college degrees, despite their vast on-the-job experience. (O-1 visas may be available to this group.) H-1B visas are likewise not given to athletes and entertainers, who should instead consider applying for O or P visas. Professional nurses are rarely eligible for H-1B visas, because most nursing jobs require a two-year degree rather than a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Some occupations that require licenses – but not college degrees -- do not usually fit the H-1B category. Such occupations include many types of medical technicians, real estate agents, plumbers, and electricians. Unless at least a four-year bachelor’s degree is required, people in such occupations may have better success applying for the more restrictive H-2B visa, or might try to qualify directly for a U.S. green card.
Unlike many other nonimmigrant visas, you don’t have to prove that you plan to return home at the end of your U.S. stay in H-1B status. In fact, you can (if you are separately eligible) have family members or employers submit applications for you to get a permanent green card at the same time that you’re pursuing your H-1B visa -- which would be a huge problem for most other temporary visa applications. Of course, if you aren’t eligible for a green card now, but openly admit that you have no intention of leaving the U.S. after your visa expires, then your visa will be denied.