You may be following the news regarding the changing immigration climate in the United States. Laws and policies regarding visas, green cards and deportation are hot button issues for reform. If you have been considering applying for an H-1B work visa, you may be concerned about the recent moves by the Trump administration to revamp the popular program.
Because of the high volume of applications for this specialized visa, trying to win one is often difficult and frustrating. The government offers H-1B visas specifically for foreigners who possess highly sought-after skills in many areas, especially:
- Computer programming
- Computer coding
- Information technology
Because the government awards the visas in a lottery system, sometimes highly qualified applicants are not selected. Last year, about 233,000 people applied, but only 85,000 receive H-1B visas annually. Many are critical of the lottery system because some firms overrun the system with applications for foreign employees that they subsequently outsource to tech companies. The firms then claim a large cut of the visa holders' salaries.
The need for reform
Reforms may replace the lottery structure with a system of preferences, showing partiality to foreign students who studied in the United States or hold higher degrees. This would reduce the number of applicants from outsourcing firms and others who try to exploit and abuse the system.
The government has also planned a temporary suspension on expedited visas. Employers can pay an extra fee to have their applicants hurried through the visa process. However, those premium H-1B's have made it difficult for the immigration offices to process regular visa applications.
Your future in America
Immigration laws are changing rapidly, and there may be options of which you aren't aware. By consulting with an attorney, you can learn the best opportunities for you or a family member to obtain a visa to work or continue working in this country. If you would like to take steps toward naturalization, an attorney can help with that process as well.
The upcoming suspension of expedited visas may affect your plans for employment in the United States. Since time is of the essence when considering an H-1B visa, bringing your questions to an attorney in a timely manner may allow you opportunities to explore the most options available for your circumstances.