H-1B Visa Season – Will You Get a US Visa This Year?

It is April 3 today and there has been no official announcement from the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) that any caps have been reached for the H-1B petitions filed from April 1, 2009 for FY2010.

However this is not entirely surprising given that the precedent of last year suggests that they will assess the US Masters degree holders first and then any spillover from the 20,000 available H-1B visas here will go into the wider pool of 65,000 H-1B visas and the probably H-1B Visa Lottery. We have actually documented a full description of the H-1B Visa FY2010 Quotas and probable process.

Of course the H-1B visa and US Immigration policy in general are hot topics in the news at the moment and some interesting facts have come to light that further dispels the myths spread by politicians, media and general ignorant fearmongers.

Microsoft, who is one of the consistent top employers of H-1B visas in terms of overall numbers have suggested due to economic reasons more than anything else they will submit fewer applications this year than in recent years. However also via their PR people have suggested they will still have a strong presence which will be part of an overall job growth for the company in 2009. Most of these hires will be US workers.

They went on to state in their advocacy for the H-1B visa, that while the number of visa holders is very small compared to the US workforce, their contribution is huge. Last year alone 35 per cent of Microsoft’s patent applications in the US came from new inventions by visa and green card holders. The situation at other US technology leaders is probably very similar.

He went on to say that a recent study, he argued, found that for every H-1B position requested, US technology companies increase their employment by five new jobs.

Of course you will never here esteemed politicians or elements of the media quote any of this in their blame the immigrant for all ills of society mentality.

The additional hysteria about Indian multi national companies dominating the H-1B visa numbers is also a moot point when you consider between 2006 to 2008, their share of H-1B visa declined 27%.

The Obama administration has been relatively quiet about the whole H-1B visa issue and probably for political reasons as much as anything else. However one course of action suggests they will continue to support the process as the Bush Administration did before it. The Bush administration’s moved to increase the amount of time foreign nationals with engineering, science and other technical degrees can work in the U.S. on student visas from one year to 29 months under the OPT (Occupational Practical Training) program following graduation has been supported by Obama’s administration in court cases by anti immigration advocacy groups in court.

No doubt the H-1B visa quota will be reached very soon and I wish all the applicants for FY2010 the best in their application and their dream to begin a new life in the US!! 🙂


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