New H-1B visa applications for Fiscal Year 2011 have been accepted by USCIS since April 1, 2010. The Immigration service has received only approximately 13,750 H-1B visa petitions. The cap for 2011 is 65,000. This is a huge decrease in visa applications compared to 2010. I expect that H-1B visa numbers will be available for quite some time.
H1-B applications can be filed with premium processing with an additional $1000 fee. If you file an application using premium processing, the USCIS must process your application within 15 days that the petition is received.
What is an H-1B visa?
H-1B visas are granted by the immigration service (USCIS) to foreign nationals that are individuals who are offered a position in a specialty occupation.
What is a Specialty Occupation?
A specialized occupation is one in which require a high level of specialized knowledge. The Immigration Service generally mandates that the job offered to would required at least the equivalent of a 4-year US Bachelor’s degree.
- The job offer must be in a specialty occupation
- The job offered for the visa must meet Department of Labor criteria for wages
- The company, not the employee submits the immigration visa application
- No US Citizen is available for the job
- The employer is required to advertise the position offered in the United States before petitioning to employ H-1B workers for those positions