As a specialty employee of a U.S. corporation, you may be eligible for an H-1B visa for temporary foreign workers. However, as our Orlando H-1B visa attorneys can explain, you may find the process increasingly difficult amid recent federal changes, which include new caps on admissions as well as an expected end to admission for spouses of H-1B visa holders.
Experienced Orlando immigration lawyers can advise Florida corporations as well as those seeking H-1B visas on how best to navigate these changes and improve chances for admission.
Who Is Eligible for an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa program is the largest employer-sponsored visa program, with an estimated 179,000 recipients, as recently noted by Fortune Magazine.
As explained by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services H-1B Visa web page, qualifying for an H-1B visa requires you to hold a specialty occupation. The criteria for this includes:
- Holding a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) required as the typical minimum for the position.
- The degree mandate for the position is typical for the industry OR the position is so unique/complex it can only be performed by someone with that degree.
- Employer typically requires that degree/equivalent for the job
- The specific duties for the job are so complex/specialized that knowledge necessary to carry out those duties is typically associated with getting a bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent.
To accept a job offer in that specialty requires that one must have:
- Earned a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S. (from an accredited higher education institution) that is required of that specialty.
- Earned a degree at a foreign college or university that is the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher in that specific industry.
- An unrestricted license, registration or certification in the state you intend to reside that will authorize full practice in the specialty occupation.
- Training, education or “progressively responsible experience” directly related to that specialty occupation.
Furthermore, company brass intending to higher a temporary foreign worker must file not only a Form I-129 (which is a petition for a non-immigrant worker) but also an approved Form ETA-9035, which is for Labor Condition Application.
We do not recommend individuals or Florida companies complete or submit these forms for an H-1B visa without at least first consulting with an Orlando immigration attorney who can assist to ensure all criteria are met.
Why H-1B Visas Are Getting More Difficult to Obtain
The reason H-1B visas are getting tougher to get essentially comes down to politics.
Although we all know asylum and refugee placements for immigration have been under intense spotlight recently (falling from a cap of 85,000 placements to 22,000 in just two years), H-1B visa applications have not escaped increasing scrutiny.
According to the National Foundation for American Policy, the rate of denials for H-1B visas has reportedly quadrupled in recent years, going from 6 percent in 2015 to 24 percent in 2018. Between 2010 and 2015, denial rates of H-1B visas never rose higher than 8 percent. The denial rate in the first quarter of 2019 is now at 32 percent.
That still means nearly 70 percent of H-1B visas are approved, so it is still worthwhile for companies and temporary foreign workers to apply. However, this does mean companies and individuals will want to be especially meticulous in their preparation and applications.
Now, the Bay Area News Group reports the administration’s new rule barring H-1B visa-holder dependent spouses and children (who hold H-4 visas) will be introduced this month. Research from the University of Tennessee estimates more than 90 percent of the 100,000 H-4 visas are held by women from India.
Consulting with an H-1B visa attorney in Orlando will help ensure your application has the best possible shot at success.
Contact the Orlando, Florida immigration attorneys at The Chidolue Law Firm, serving Orlando and Lake Mary, by calling (407) 995-6567 or email us.
H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Cap Season, U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services
More Blog Entries:
NEED AN E-1 OR E-2 U.S. VISA? HIRING ORLANDO IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY MAKES IT EASIER, March 27, 2019, Orlando Immigration Lawyer Blog