The H-1B Visa Gold Rush
The H-1B Visa is a highly sought after work authorization visa around the world for Graduates and Skilled Workers looking to work in the US. For many, the H-1B visa functions as a gateway to enter into the United States, allowing aliens to work their way up the US Immigration ladder towards attaining a US Green Card and, ultimately, US Citizenship. However, the once easily obtainable H-1B visa has now become a battle against the odds because the H-1B lottery has turned the process into a modern-day gold rush.
H-1B visas are typically granted for an initial period of three years and then annually thereafter, for up to six years in total. During this time, the H-1B visa holder is able to work in the United States, and their spouse and any dependents will obtain H-4 visas to accompany them to the United States. Unfortunately, H-4 visas holders are not allowed to work as of right now. If the spouse also wants to work, he or she must find an employer willing sponsor them for an H-1B visa.
H-1B Visa Gold Rush?
Each fiscal year, US Immigration and Citizenship Services accepts H-1B visa petitions starting April 1, 2016. Note: Even if the application is successful, the H-1B recipient is not permitted to start work until October 1, 2016, which is of course very problematic if you are an employer needing someone right away.
April 1st, Gold Rush Day?
April 1st is the first day when H-1B applications are accepted. On April 1st, 65,000 H-1B visas become available for aliens with degrees, and a further 20,000 are available for graduates who received an Advanced Degree, MA, MS, MSC, PHD, etc, from a US University. Thus, on April 1st 85,000 H-1B Visas become available.
However, on the very first day of release last year (FY2015) the number of applicants reached an all time high at 223,000, and is expected to increase again this fiscal year. The “oversubscription” of the H-1B visas has created 3-to-1 odds against your application even being considered.
With this current trend of oversubscription of H-1B visas, the demand has become increasingly disproportionate to supply. Each year, US immigration lawyers and their clients tirelessly work to submit their applications by the April 1st deadline, knowing that if they file on April 2nd all of the available H-1B visas will likely be gone.
Immediate Steps to Participate in This Years “H-1B Lottery”
With three months to the H-1B deadline for this fiscal year (2016), anyone looking to apply for the H-1B Visa should consider taking the following steps immediately.
- Discuss the H-1B Visa with your potential employee/employer;
- Gather all relevant documentation (Resumes, Employment Support Letter, Education docs etc.);
- Determine what your speciality occupation is (ie, do you have a BA degree or higher)
- Contact us to discuss filing deadlines and additional requirements.
Avoiding the H-1B Visa Gold Rush Altogether
As outlined, it is extremely tough to get an H-1B visa. First, the potential employee needs to find a US employer willing to jump through the hoops of the H-1B process. IT employees may be in luck because US Tech Companies are so desperate for IT talent that they are willing to navigate the process by filing as many applications as possible, knowing that only 1 in 3 of those H-1B applications may get through.
However, your talents may qualify you for two alternative options that are far less crowded and certainly not oversubscribed. These are the O-1 Visa for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability and the EB1 Green Card for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability. They are briefly outlined below for your perusal.
The O-1 Visa, is a visa for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or who has demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement. Being the recipient of a major internationally recognized award will satisfy this requirement of demonstrating achievement, or you can satisfy any three of the eight categories that USCIS offers.
The EB-1 Green Card is designed for individuals at the top of their profession. In order to show that you are at the top of your profession and that you are an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability,” you will need to show that your experience and accomplishments within your field satisfy certain criteria. If you have won a major internationally recognized award, then this criteria will be established. You can still qualify for the EB1 Green Card if you can meet any three of the ten categories that USCIS offers.
Contact Our Offices
As you consider your options, why not give us a call or complete the consultation request form on this page. If you complete the form, we will reach out to you as soon as possible to set up your free consultation.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.
Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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