Hello, I have been checking on the new appointment website for Nov dates as I want to go to Delhi consulate on Nov 20, 2012 for my H1B visa interview. Until 7 days back, I had seen that Consulate was opening interview slots for the next 3 weeks or so. But, when I checked again yesterday, I saw no dates available in Nov and first half of December. There are 4-5 dates open in the 3rd and 4th. Visa appointment slot Availability for Drop Box in Chennai and HYD in Jan. Like this thread 0 0. Watch this thread Start a new thread Add a post.
Overview of the H-1B Visa Category and summary of the proposed changes to the lottery process that may go into effect for the 2021 H-1B cap year.
What is an H-1B Visa?
An H-1B Petition allows companies in the United States to employ foreign workers in positions that require at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) in the field of endeavor. This is important. The USCIS is highly scrutinizing cases where the Beneficiary’s degree field does not “closely” match the field of work.
Petitions can be filed for beneficiaries already in the U.S. in another valid status, such as F-1 student status, as well as those outside the U.S.
If the Beneficiary has never held H-1B status in the past, they will likely be subject to the annual H-1B Cap limitation unless they will work for an institution of higher education, certain affiliates of an institution of higher education, or a governmental non-profit research organization.
Currently, there are 20,000 H-1B “Master’s cap” slots available for those who have earned a U.S. Master’s degree from an accredited university in their field of endeavor. There are 65,000 “regular cap” slots that are open to all qualified applicants. This to be discussed in further detail below.
Employers must first obtain a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor confirming that the employer will pay the local prevailing wage or the wage offered to similarly employed U.S. workers, whichever is greater.
To file the H-1B Petition, the employer must, among other things, demonstrate that 1) the position is a specialty occupation; 2) that an employer-employee relationship will exist between the parties; and 3) that the employer has the ability to pay the wage offered as per the certified LCA from the DOL.
Employers should seek advice and guidance from a Board-Certified Immigration Attorney to help ensure their company will meet these requirements prior to filing. Please note that individuals cannot petition for themselves.
The Beneficiary must have earned at least a Bachelor’s level degree in their field of endeavor at the time of filing the H-1B petition. If they are in the U.S. and seeking a “Change of Status”, they must also establish that they are maintaining valid status at the time of filing or they must process their nonimmigrant visa application in their home country. This is referred to as “Consular Notification” and also applies to Beneficiaries that are not in the U.S.
How Long Can You Stay in the U.S. in H-1B Status?
If you’re an H-1B nonimmigrant, you can be admitted to the United States for up to 3 years. In some cases, your time period can be extended, but typically, you can’t go beyond a total of 6 years. There are some exceptions available, though, which your business immigration attorney can explain to you.
What if You Leave Early?
If your employer terminates you before the end of your period of authorized stay, your employer is liable for the reasonable costs of your return transportation. Your employer is not responsible for the costs of your return transportation if you voluntarily resign or quit.
What About Families On H-1B Visas?
If you’re married, or if you have unmarried children under the age of 21, you may be able to bring your family as H-4 nonimmigrants.
Premium Processing for H-1B Visas
Premium processing, a service the federal government provides that promises employers a judgment within 15 days, may be an option for this year’s H-1B visas that are subject to the cap. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services charges employers an additional fee of $1,410 for this faster processing service. The USCIS will issue guidance on premium processing service in the coming months. Stay tuned!
A Reversal Of The H-1B Selection Process That Was Implemented in Fiscal Year 2020
For Cap Year 2020, the USCIS reversed the order that H-1B visa cap cases are selected.
Previously, the government used a lottery process to award visas to 20,000 advanced degree holders first. Those who didn’t win a spot in the lottery were able to get a second chance with all the other H-1B visa petitioners.
Now, the USCIS runs the regular H-1B cap lottery first with all advanced degree earners included. Then, the remaining applicants will go into a second lottery where only U.S. Master’s degree candidates will be considered.
The first lottery is for 65,000 people. The second-chance lottery will fill the remaining 20,000 spots available. USCIS projects that this new process will result in more than 5,300 additional H-1B visas going to people with advanced degrees.
The Chinook Winds also perform the Measuring Cups Etude written by Adam Eason, a new work commissioned for the quintet and performed in September, 2017. A rhythmically complex piece, it cooks up a catchy melody out of all five woodwind ingredients.
What About The Proposed Changed to the 2021 H-1B Cap Season?
The USCIS will likely implement an online H-1B registration system for the upcoming 2021 cap season. The system will require that employers submit an online registration form for each prospective H-1B candidate before filing season begins in April, possibly as early as January 2020. The public will receive 30 days notice of the opening of the registration period.
USCIS will conduct a lottery of the registrations and will send selection notices to successful Petitioners, who would then be permitted to file full H-1B petitions for adjudication on behalf of Beneficiaries whose registrations were selected. USCIS has also proposed to charge a $10 fee for each registration.
Registrations will consist of providing basic information about the employer, employee, job and the employee’s education. This program will likely give preferential treatment to Applicants with U.S. Master’s degrees in their field.
Stay tuned for up-to-date announcements.
Should You Work With an Attorney for an H-1B Petition?
Yes! If your company is interested in hiring foreign workers, working with a board certified Immigration attorney helps ensure that your paperwork is filled out and filed properly and timely. Your lawyer will answer your questions and provide you with case-specific legal guidance that you won’t be able to get online.
If your company is considering bringing in foreign workers, we may be able to help you. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help – and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions about the new H-1B visa processes taking effect in FY 2020.
About Davis & Associates:
Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in Texas including Dallas Fort Worth, Houston and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
While steps toward H1B visa reform continue, it is useful to know the facts about this non-immigrant work visa, and the Pew Research Center has come out with findings on how and where this visa is awarded.
There are competing claims on all sides of the debate about fairness, wage levels, numbers of visas and qualified sponsors, but this data comes straight from government sources, and provides some insight to the evolution of this work visa over the past 15 years.
Number of Visa Awarded: 2001-2015
In the fifteen-year period of 2001-2015, 1.8 million H1B visas were awarded to skilled foreign workers. Although this number seems to exceed the annual cap of 85,000 per year, it includes both cap-exempt positions and transfers to new sponsors in the US. So, if a foreign worker is already in the US on an H1B visa and changes their sponsor-employer, then that counts as a ‘new’ H1B visa, and not a continuation of the original visa.
Years Where the Visa Cap Was Exceeded
When H1B visa petitions exceed the annual cap, a lottery is held to award the visas randomly. From 2000 to 2005 there were plenty of visa slots available, and the lottery was not needed. Starting in 2006, the cap was reached, but for 2006-2007 and 2010 to 2013 the data of total applications was not published. After 2014, the number of petitions surged and the lottery was needed to meet the 85,000 annual cap each year.
Percentage of H1B Visas that are Cap Exempt
Universities, colleges, government research and non-profit organizations are all cap-exempt when offering H1B visa positions. Since 2010, the number of cap-exempt visas has accounted for 10% of the total awarded. These visas can be applied for at any time and only must meet the H1B criteria and qualifications, as there is no annual limit for these types of sponsors.
H1B Visa Approvals by Country of Birth Origin
From 2001 to 2015, the breakdown by country of H1B visa approvals (not petitions) is as follows:
South Korea: 2.8%
The remaining percentage comes from a number of different countries of birth origin, each under 2% of the total.
This is not surprising data since the H1B visa program has been a cornerstone of staffing IT positions with temporary workers from India, where educational programs are focused on that industry.
H1b Visa Slots Availability Fees
Allocation of H1B Visas by State
H1b Visa Slots Availability In India
Top states for H1B visa sponsors are California, New Jersey, Texas and New York, all with large high tech hubs that utilize the large percentage of Indian IT workers that are awarded visas.
Percentage of H1B Visas by Degree Level
The average percentage of H1B visas awarded to degree holders is:
9% Doctoral and Master’s
This is an interesting statistic, since a bachelor’s degree is one of the H1B visa core requirements, unless the applicants experience and skills are equivalent to that level.
94% of Associate-level H1B visas were awarded to ‘Computer Systems Analysts’, and others included nurses and fashion models. The entry level IT jobs are now being excluded from the H1B arena with recent changes by the USCIS.
Looking at all of these facts, it becomes apparent why the Trump administration is taking a hard look at how the H1B is awarded, especially since on the face of it a full one-quarter of ‘specialty occupation’ visas are awarded to foreign workers holding only two year degrees.
We can expect those positions and workers will invite increased scrutiny going forward, especially in the IT sector.
- January 12th, 2018