Tag Archives: status

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!! 🙂

CJ

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April 1, 2009: H-1B Visa Status Update for FY2010

Deadline day is only 2 days away! While most Americans have little to no idea the significance of April 1 each year, beyond the annual April Fool’s Day pranks, the biggest prank of all is being felt by foreigners hoping to get a US work visa in a crazy immigration system.

This year, even more than recent years, will be even more crazy because some politicians and elements of the media have made it their mission to do everything to hurt the cause of the immigrant. Even though they will never mention the history of the US as an immigrant country…and tell their consituents that if they had  their way, great people like Albert Einstein in the past and the Brin family (son Sergei Brin, founder of Google) would probably be barred from coming too.

Because of the EAWA (Employ Americans Work Act) provision of the TARP stimulus funding that many financial institutions in particular have received like Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, these companies are almost completely limited in hiring foreigners this year. Bank of America has to rescind offers to a large number of highly credential Masters Degree students from Ivy League schools just because they happened to be foreign born.

Good Luck America trying to convince people you are not xenophobic, that you are the land of opportunity and a melting pot of cultures when you make short sighted decisions like that to help save your economy. Remember it was the US politicians and US Chief Executives who caused the mess we are all now in and now you are listening to these same people who are blaming a few thousand annual highly skilled immigrants for the problems.

Rationale people no where the blame really lies

The US Government has said this law will be in place for 2 years meaning that in 2011, these companies will be able to hire foreigners again.

Other things you should know are that companies like Microsoft are locating their Research and Development facilities in places like Canada as they are more open to hiring the best talent in the world. So really the US is costing itslef both corporate and employee tax dollars by its draconian immigration policy.

Additionally other companies who formerly went down the H-1B path are planning to hire these highly skilled people but just in other locations in Asia, Canada, UK and Europe. Again it is the US economic recovery and competitiveness in the world that is hurt by these actions due to the short-sighted immigration policy in this country.

To all those who say it is easier to hire a foreigner than an American and companies hire foreigners because it is is cheaper and have obviously never researched how much it costs to hire a foreigner on an H-1b visa.

It costs upwards of $3,000 for the right to hire a foreigner and then probably thousands of dollars in legal fees on top of that. Additionally they can only start work on October 1 even if they are lucky to get a H-1B visa so a US company will always look at a US worker first as it is just easier, more practical and less costly.

Did you know that 25% of the annual H-1B visas come from the US Consualte in Chennai, India?

So as far as FY2010 goes and the upcoming deadline on Wednesday April 1, demand is expected to be slighlty less than the previous 2 years but don’t be fooled into thinking if you just apply, you will get it this year. Smart companies defy media propganda and still are going to hire the best talent and all 65,000 visas and 20,000 Masters level visas will be exhausted in the first few days. It is just this year there will be a different set of companies hiring foreigners.

Please ensure your companies have everything organized and file in you application on time on April 1 so you have the best chance to get your US visa.

Good Luck!

CJ

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