H-1B Visa Update: Visas still Available

Cap for H-1B visas not yet reached

The cap for H-1B visas for the fiscal 2010-2011 year still has not been reached.  According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a record high number of H-1B visas are still available, about 11,000.

In 2009, it took until December for the cap to be reached. Most years, the visas are only available for a few days as they are all snatched up right after they become available. For example in 2008, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services had to develop a computerized draw to determine who would get a visa because of so many immediate applications.

The H-1B visa is a work permit that allows foreigners to work in specialty occupations for employers in the United States. These occupations usually require a specific skill set and usually but not always a bachelor’s degree, along with an existing job offer from a United States employer.

Government Visa Fees may be to blame for lack of demand for H-1B visas

The fees for H-1B visas increased $2,000 in 2010 in order to fund new border security and health care initiatives. When sending foreign workers to the United States, it is the companies doing the sending that end up paying the fee and many of these companies have protested the large fee increase. Many companies overseas have employees working in the United States and approximately half of those employees are on H-1B visas.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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