For employers that hire foreign nationals, and for foreign students living in the United States, early spring has come to be known as the “H-1B Season”. This is the time when H-1B petitions are put together and sent out in a flurry to be received by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the first five business days of April. Although the demand for H-1B workers has steadily increased since the end of the recession, the number of available H-1B visas has remained artificially low.
Currently, there is an annual numerical limitation of 65,000 regular H-1B visas, and an additional 20,000 H-1B visas that are reserved for foreign nationals who have earned advanced degrees (e.g. master’s degrees or above) from a United States university, for a total of 85,000 available H-1B visas each U.S. fiscal year. This year, approximately 236,000 petitions were filed with USCIS for the available H-1B visas. With 151,000 H-1B rejected petitions, many U.S. employers and foreign workers are faced with looking for alternative options for their immigration and business needs.
For those employers and workers who are currently looking for alternatives to the H-1B visa, it may be possible to find alternative methods of employment sponsorship.