Starting April 1, 2014, companies across the U.S. will be preparing for the highly competitive filing season. The H-1B non-immigration visa category is available to businesses wishing to hire persons in a specialty occupation position-this is defined as a person who has at least a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in that particular specialty.
The H-1B skilled workers visa is one of the most important options available to companies looking to hire foreign-born professionals on a temporary basis.
In the Fiscal Year 2015 cap season, companies are excepted to file a large number of applications for the 85,000 H-1B visas available under the current statutory quota. Last year, more than 124m000 H-1B visa petitions were received in the first five days, forcing the government to default to the lottery system. more than 31% of the total were rejected through the lottery system.
Even greater numbers are expected to be filed this year. This increased uncertainty of who will be accepted deters foreign investment and negatively impacting U.S. workers. This creates a need to increase the number of H-1Bs for skilled workers, primary bills in the Senate House with provisions to address the shortage of H-1B visas. While this increase would benefit businesses, it would also add significant additional government oversight and Department of Labor control over new requirements surrounding the recruitment and employment process. It would also place severe new restrictions on companies that employ large numbers of H-1B workers or L-1B specialized workers, which is the other significant temporary employment visa category available to companies.
The Senate bill creates a new wage system that collapses the current four-tiered system into three tiers and significantly increases wage requirements at each level.
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