A new competitive H1B Visa season will start Monday, April 3rd , 2017. Do not be lazy with your application because, as happened in the last few years, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects to obtain the overall number of the petitions available each year within the first five business days.
H1B Visas are reserved for temporary employment of foreign professionals in “specialty occupations” such as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act e.g., computer programmers, architects, physicians, dentists, engineers, accountants, lawyers and more.
Actually, for many this could be the last chance to apply for an H1B since the ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act’ reintroduced in Congress on January 4th, 2017 aims to tighten this visa requirements. From the next year, to get an H1B, you might need an employer that ensures a wage of at least $100,000 a year (instead of the currently $ 60,000). Furthermore, it might be necessary to hold a U.S. Master degree; a U.S. Bachelor Degree, an equivalent foreign university degree or relevant professional experience will no longer be enough to qualify for an H1B. This proposal might scrap the existing lottery for a system that privileges the high-skilled and most paid foreign workers, with precedence for those who studied in the U.S.
Anyway, H1B is still one of the most preferred work visa for its “dual intent” that allows to apply for a Green Card after 6 years of employment.
Finally, it should be noted that on April 9, 2016 USCIS had received 236,000 applications and was obliged to resort to a computer lottery in order to select the 85,000 slots available. So, do not waste time and be careful in your application so that, if selected, USCIS could quickly process your Visa!
With the collaboration of Federica Magni.
This post is also available in: Italian