Immigration attorneys continue to have concerns about a new electronic registration process designed to make the H-1B visa application process easier, even as the government moves ever closer to implementing it.
This story is part of a collaboration with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Since 2017, as part of its efforts to hire American, the Trump administration has been aggressively denying applications for H-1B visas.
U.S. tech companies might be relying more on H-1B workers, according to a new study. This as the study finds Indian outsourcing firms may be losing their stronghold on H-1B skilled worker visas.
AILA responds to the news that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received 190,098 new H-1B visa cap-subject petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, down from approximately 199,000 in FY 2018.
Immigration issues seem to pervade the news but of all the visa programs that allow foreign-born people to legally work in the U.S, it seems that the H-1B visa program generates some of the most debate. Unfortunately, most of the time, this debate feels very much one-sided, with news reports about abuse of the H-1B program by bad actors and stories about American workers displaced by low cost IT labor from abroad. Left to the side is all the benefits the program has brought to the United States, the way in which the program actually works, and the measures in place to prevent fraud and abuse of the program. Here are four myths that I have debunked about the H-1B program:
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced a bill Thursday that would vastly increase the number of H-1B visas available and ease restrictions on the issuance of green cards to foreign workers. The bill, also sponsored by Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., would bring relief to the Bay Area's large community of immigrants working at startups and big tech companies, many of whom rely on the H-1B visa, as well as their employers, who have quietly lobbied for years for an expansion of the program. It also could put the two Republicans at odds with President Trump, who says the H-1B program takes away American jobs and sought to restrict it with a series of policy changes.
The Department of Homeland Security is considering new regulations that would prevent H-1B visa extensions, according to two U.S. sources briefed on the proposal. The measure potentially could stop hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H-1B visas while their green card applications are pending.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the masters cap.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced it will halt premium processing of H-1B visa petitions on April 3, for up to six months. Through the H-1B visa category, employers can petition for highly educated professionals to work in specialty occupations that require at least a bachelors degree or the equivalent. This decision will not only disrupt the plans of thousands of foreign nationals who are recent graduates of U.S. universities, workers and businesses, but also could have a significant impact on the fee-funded agencys revenue.
In order to pry open that box and let the American public and those most directly affected see how the lottery system works from start to finish, and to learn whether the system is operating fairly and all the available numbers are being used, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have teamed up on a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and USCIS, seeking information about the government s administration of the H-1B lottery.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7 that the H-1B cap for fiscal year 2017 was reached, meaning that in five business days, U.S. employers filed more petitions for an H-1B visa to hire a skilled foreign worker than the entire year s allocation of visas available under current law. This means that USCIS will conduct a lottery to determine which employers will get the visas they need.
The U.S. government is investigating two Indian outsourcing firms and a California power company over whether they violated labor and immigration laws by replacing American workers with foreigners on temporary work visas. The Labor Department said it is trying to ensure the Indian companies and Southern California Edison complied with the terms of the nation s skilled-worker-visa system. Controversy has exploded in recent months over whether these foreign workers, who typically have visas known as H-1Bs, displace or complement U.S. workers.
The Obama administration wants to let nearly 100,000 spouses of foreigners working in high-tech fields to work here as well in a move critics say is harmful to nearly 10 million jobless Americans. The administration also hopes to ease the process for foreign professors and researchers who are trying to extend their stays in America.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg - one of the world's richest tech innovators - will break new ground next month by speaking publicly for the first time on a political issue when he delivers an address on immigration reform in San Francisco at the West Coast premiere of a film about undocumented immigrants.
The recent buzz that there really isn t a shortage of science, technology, engineering and math (known collectively as STEM) workers is belied by the experience of hundreds of tech companies that are willing to expend additional money in finding and relocating skilled workers from overseas. There, too, research suggests the anti-immigrant forces are peddling snake oil.
High-tech companies looking to bring more skilled workers to the U.S. pushed Monday for more concessions in an immigration bill pending in the Senate.--Many high tech companies are concerned about the number of restrictions designed to ensure U.S. workers get a first shot at jobs and also the calculation for the H-1B Cap
I recently participated in a Consumer Electronics Association sponsored Hangout Supporting the March for Innovation. Here is the video from the discussion with various immigration reform proponents from around the country:
The broad bill requires employers filing visa petitions to first offer a job to an "equally qualified" U.S. worker. Hatch s revised amendment number 12 would impose this requirement only on "H-1B-dependent" companies but clarifies the definition of such companies. The underlying bill also bars companies from displacing a U.S. worker within 90 days of filing a visa petition for an H-1B worker. Hatch s amendment number 13 would shield non-H-1B-dependent companies by allowing them to only stipulate that they do not have the intent to displace U.S. workers. The Schumer-Hatch deal accepts the original intent standard for non-H-1B companies but only for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) positions. For all other professions, there would remain a strict prohibition against displacing workers within 90 days of visa petitions.
The bill would have nearly doubled the number of those visas available each year, to 110,000. The agreement with Hatch allows companies to more quickly reach the eventual cap of 180,000, so long as the unemployment rate in those professions does not top 4.5%. New requirements that companies seek American workers or not displace those on the job would also be eased--This was absolutely a victory for the High Tech industry.
Hatch s amendments include a provision that would eliminate a requirement that tech companies offer jobs first to U.S. citizens, a condition that industry leaders said places an unnecessary burden on them. But the AFL-CIO has opposed Hatch s proposals.
The industry achieved its main goals in the draft Senate bill: an easing of the green card process and an expansion of the number of skilled guest worker visas. That draft, though, includes language that it considers excessive regulatory oversight of when a company can hire a temporary foreign worker and lay off an existing American worker--The problem with pushing for more amendments is that it may endanger the entire bill, which would affect millions of people.
S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, will definitely change the way Employers file H-1B Petitions on behalf of prospective employees. What would an H-1B filing look like if such a law passes?
As of March 31, 2013, USCIS has receipted filings on behalf of 44,263 beneficiaries toward the 33,000 H-2B cap amount for First Half of FY-2013. This count includes 44,089 approved and 174 pending petitions. As of April 26, 2013, tor the Second Half of the FY 2013 Fiscal Year, USCIS has receipted filings on behalf of 21,769 beneficiaries toward the 33,000 H-2B cap amount. This count includes 14,891 approved and 6,878 pending petitions.
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee abandoned Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Tuesday in his effort to limit the number of immigrants who could come to the United States, and helped Democrats to kill the amendment in a 1-17 vote--I hate to see what will happen with immigration reform in the GOP controlled House.
Raising the H-1B Cap is seems to be one of the more controversial aspects in these negotiations. Here is the crux of the issue: The discussions are part of an ongoing tug-of-war between technology firms that say the country cannot supply enough skilled workers, whose demands have been championed largely by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and labor groups who say those firms are simply trying to avoid hiring more Americans.
Silicon Valley is battling in Washington to make the immigration process easier for thousands of people like Mr. Sankhla, many of them Indian engineers, while also pushing to hire many more guest workers from abroad.
If you are a normal H-1B Cap Applicant, you therefore have a 59.9% chance of being selected in this year s FY-2014 H-1B Lottery. If you and your employer are in the unlucky 40.1% who do not receive a Cap Number, absent immigration reform, you will have to wait until April 1, 2014 to reapply for the H-1B visa.
For the first time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period. USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a "lottery") to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing--this visa category needs serious reform!
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption-- This program needs immigration reform!
What is wrong with a system when applicants have to worry about an April 1 filing delivery for a job that does not start until October 1? Thoughts on what has gone wrong with the H-1B Visa Cap process.
The expansion of the visas, known as H1Bs, is one element of talks among a bipartisan group of eight senators, whose legislation is expected to serve as the basis for a deal between Congress and the White House to retool the immigration system. The number of visas available would approximately double from the current limit of 65,000 per year.
For FY-2014, my prediction is that the H-1B statutory cap will be met much earlier than June 2013. Employers should therefore plan to file their Cap-Subject petitions in early April 2013.
The documents reveal that the agency targets small businesses that participate in the H-1B visa program for increased scrutiny and fraud investigations precisely because they are small and emerging. People have suspected this for years. Now, here is the proof!
Congress now seems ready to end such discrimination, but it should focus on that goal, not on more regulation, so America can finally have an immigration law that acknowledges the genius of all, whatever group of mankind they may represent.
Tom Derry: Regarding the H1B visa challenge, I saw firsthand that even within the finance world (let alone IT and other areas), there are not enough people with good technical skills who can get into the country.