Petition filings for H-1B Visas surged this year. In fact, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) have reached their statutory cap for fiscal year 2015. With 172,500 petitions received, the cap on these visas was exceeded, leaving USCIS to hold a lottery to select which petitioners would get their petitions processed.
What is the H-1B Visa?
H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). An H-1B is an alien coming temporarily to perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation and requires the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The petition must be filed by the U.S. employer.
How will the lottery work?
Here is a short video outlining how the lottery process works:
How might the H-1B visa shortage affect me or my loved ones?
That depends greatly on what your legal status currently is. Current H-1B Visa holders will want to prepare for the future and begin the work toward being granted a green card.
Current petitioners must know that they may not get an H-1B Visa due to the volume of the petitions filed this year. USCIS received the cap amount of petitions by April 7, 2014. We cannot predict the volume of these petitions in the future, but we do know that it is best to act early and finalize the H-1B employer sponsoring you by the end of February and complete all paperwork by the end of March so that the petition may be submitted to USCIS by April 1 of that year (the first day petitions are accepted).
For more answers on your immigration/work visa status or alternate strategies, call the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. at (312) 641-0771.