What should you know about H-1B Visa Laws in 2017

What is an H-1B Visa?

The H-1B visa program allows  US-based companies to hire foreign workers for a temporary basis in select high-level positions. Most often these positions are in the fields of engineering, science, and IT.

For H-1B visas, there is a current annual cap of  65,000 approvals currently set by the US Congress. There is also an additional 20,000 approvals reserved for individuals with a US Master’s Degree or higher. Currently, the demand far exceeds the supply and therefore, the available H-1B are distributed via a lottery system.

Are they Changing the laws around H-1 B Visas?

For 2017 the premium visas have been put on a hold since April 3rd, until October 1st the start of the next fiscal year. Petitioners are barred from filing a request for premium process service form ( Form I-907) for a Petition for  non-immigrant worker  ( Form I-129)

So far the current administration has only called for a review of the current processes and has not made any changes as of yet.

Most recently the discussion has been what type of effect this will have on the Technology industry.  Nearly 70% of all H-1B visas are being granted to Indian Tech workers and outsourcing companies who are being hired for corporate positions in the United States.

Currently, the government is evaluating how they can require American Citizens to be given more of a priority for these positions, as well as making sure that the available approvals are in fact being given to the most skilled. “How to prioritize who should get the H-1B visa and also to make sure Americans are not displaced by workers brought in by the visa program,” said Neil Ruiz, executive director of the Center for Law, Economics, and Finance at George Washington University. ( CNN )

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