Tuesday, 16 April 2013

USCIS Holds Lottery To Pick Successful H-1B Applications

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it has held a lottery to decide which H-1B applications for the 2014 fiscal year will be approved.

Each year, the US issues 65,000 visas to foreign skilled workers to work in the US in 'a specialty occupation'. The workers should have a degree though an applicant with a range of training and experience amounting to 'degree equivalence' may qualify

The US also issues 20,000 H-1Bs to foreign workers with master's degrees or other postgraduate degrees. Where sufficient applications to meet the cap are received in the first week that USCIS begins accepting them, the rules state that USCIS will then hold a lottery for each category to allocate the visas.

We warned of high demand

Global Migrate warned earlier this year that the number of applications for the 2014 fiscal year was likely to be high. We advised all those seeking H-1B visas to get their applications in as soon as possible after USCIS began accepting applications.

This year, USCIS received 124,000 applications by 5th April. It received enough applications to fill the quota for both specialty occupation visas and advanced degree visas and so it has held two lotteries, one to distribute the 20,000 H-1Bs for advanced degree graduates and one to distribute the remaining 65,000 H-1Bs. The lotteries were held on 7th April 2013. The advanced degree visa lottery was held first. The applications of any applicants who were unsuccessful were then entered into the main H-1B lottery, giving graduates with advanced degree a second bite of the cherry.

Each year, USCIS begins accepting applications for the fiscal year beginning on October 1st on April 1st in the same year (though in the preceding fiscal year). The visas will only be valid from the October of the fiscal year for which they are issued. Every year, the number of H-1B petitions far exceeds the 85,000 visas available. This year the quota was reached in the fastest time since 2008 when it took only two days. In 2007, the cap was reached in one day.

H-1B cap is set too low

Some economists are saying that the fact that the lottery was required for the first time in five years is a sign that the US economy is recovering. But many others say merely that it is a sign that the H-1B cap is set far too low.

The world-renowned Economist magazine carried an article on 6th April which said that 'the cap on visas is entirely arbitrary and unnecessary and almost certainly imposes high economic costs on the country'. The article says that 'skilled immigrant workers are more likely…to create patentable inventions or start new businesses' than are natural-born Americans.

The article warns the US that other countries are seeking to attract skilled international workers and reports that Canada has launched its new 'Start-up visa' which will award a permanent resident visa to any foreign entrepreneur who can attract CAN$75,000 in investment from Canadian investors for a business start-up.

If you would like to apply for a US visa, GlobalMigrate.com can help.GlobalMigrate.com is a specialist visa consultancy . We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details. Visit Us At:www.global-migrate.com Or Contact Us At: +44 (0) 207 - 993 - 4762  

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