The Government year starts on October 01 and each year the Government dishes out 65,000 new H-1b visas . Employers can apply 6 months before the start date, so each year the first day that they can apply for new H-1Bs is April 01.
In 2007 and 2008 significantly more than the 65,000 quota applied on the first day, ie April 01. As a result the CIS held a lottery as to who could get in, and only those lucky enough to win the lottery got in.
This year will be different. This year it will probably not be a lottery. For the first time, we are seeing a significant reduction in the number of Employers seeking new H-1Bs. Many H-1B s are out of jobs, as are many Americans. Employers are not hiring. The only sector still hiring are renewable energy industries and they are mostly employing Master’s Degree holders from US Universities.
So Beneficiaries lucky enough to find an Employer to sponsor them will probably get in this year.
However there will be intense scrutiny on the H-1Bs from the Government. The CIS will scrutinize the Company’s ability to pay and the beneficiaries’ qualifications very minutely. There probably will be significant amount of RFEs and significant amounts of denials. If the beneficiary is from a foreign country, the Consulates will provide another layer of hurdle to overcome.
Part of the reason for this is that the Government knows of the dire employment situation and does not want to permit fraud. Also the Government uncovered a lot of fraudulent practices by several small consulting companies, including falsifying beneficiaries’ resume to place them in jobs they do not have skills for, not keeping LCA promises, etc.
Therefore this year’s H-1B will be a mixed blessing.
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, Annie Banerjee for more details