Proving the unmatched popularity and widespread demand for the US H-1B ‘specialty occupation’ visas, some American immigration lawyers–according to certain reports–have issued a warning that the whole year’s share of 65,000 such permits for the financial year of 2014 could be exhausted in just 1 week, at the starting of April this year.
In case an American recruiter/firm wants to recruit an overseas worker in a ‘specialty occupation’, it ought to file a petition to the concerned organization–US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)–for an H-1B Permit. It’s essential that the candidate from abroad possesses not less than a bachelor’s degree.
The validity of the said permits is three years even as these may be renewed for another 3-year term. The proud holders are entitled to submit a petition for their US Green Card which gives them permanent resident status in the country, provided they cater to some pre-decided conditions. Further, while they are cooling their heels for Green Card submissions to be duly processed, the candidates may file petitions for the extensions of their H-1B Permits.
Since 2004 upper limit stagnant at 65,000
The yearly upper limit for the H-1Bs has continued to be stagnant 65,000 per annum since 2004. There is also a yearly allocation of 20,000 H-1Bs, which are offered to the holders of higher degrees, including PhDs and Masters’ from American universities. The USCIS begins to admit petitions in April each year for the tax year beginning in the next October. Hence, submissions for the 2014 tax year (which starts in October 2013), will be admitted from April 1, this year.
In recent years, the upper limit has been touched pretty soon. While for the financial year of 2010, the upper limit was touched in December 2010; for 2011, the same touched in January 2011. Like wise, for 2012, the upper limit was touched in November 2011; for 2013, the upper limit was touched in June 2012.
As mentioned before, a majority of the US attorneys have opined that the limit will be touched even swiftly this year even while they have asked their clients to hurry-up and get their petitions fully ready to present the same on April 1.
Significantly, several businesses—more so from the tech domain—have vociferously advocated that the upper limit be increased. However, anti-immigration activists have strongly opposed any such increase, alleging that the H-1B workers grab jobs which may be easily given to the American nationals.