Increasing L-1 Visa Applications After Decline In H1-B Visas

H1-B Visa and L-1 Visa are both non-immigrant visas. However, there is a difference between both. H1-B visa was stated out in 1990 for skilled individuals to join companies in the USA. It allows employers to get foreign workforce on board.

Before this year, an average of 85,000 H1-B visas was approved annually. In 2017, against the increasing demand, H1-B visa cap was reached just four days after the application window opened. However, H1-B is not the only employment-based visa in the USA. L-1 Visa is the visa for temporary non-immigrants through which companies can transfer their employees from another country to the USA. After a noticeable abate in H1-B visas, a lot of people are opting for L1-B visas. However, for an L-1 visa, it is compulsory for employees to be part of another subsidiary of the same company, its affiliate or parent company. There is no annual cap on these visas and the acceptability of visas depends on the applications.

After a limitation on H1-B visas, a lot of employers are opting to have their employees from other subsidiaries of their companies. However, there are a few points regarding L-1 in the new reform bill that must be kept in mind:

Replacement:
The bill prohibits employers from replacing a US national employee with an L-1 worker. It allows employers to have a foreign employee onboard for a job opening. Unlike H1-B, there is no restriction for employers to prove that no other individual in the USA can take up this job.

Employer Petitions:

The reform bill also discusses the requirements that an employer needs to fulfill in order to have an L-1 worker on board in the US subsidiary. These include petitions for employment at a new office, wage rates, and employer penalties.

The shift of demand from H1-B to L-1 visa:

According to Abhinav Lohia, Partner and Practice Chair of India and Southeast Asia at Davies & Associates, “Indian companies will now have to scout for American talent or opt for alternatives like L1B or L1A visas to send workers to the US.”

Through L-1 visas companies can transfer employees temporarily for a managerial or executive role in any specialized domain. A lot of companies in the USA have already partnered with some local companies in India in order to shift employees through L-1. Another option for people with the rejected H1-B application is EB5 visa if you can afford that. Both L-1 and EB5 visas have higher chances of converting into a permanent visa and then citizenship over H1-B. For multi-national companies employing someone from L-1 visa is far easier than H1-B now. L-1 visas put an end to the dependence of the employer for staying in the United States.

However, just like H1-B visas, Trump government has increased the fees for L-1 visas as well. It is affecting the Indian IT firms in the USA the most. The fees for both H1-B and L-1 visas have already doubled. Most of the experts believe that the government will increase the fees more which will make it even more difficult for employers to have L-1 workers on board.

The ‘so called’ H1-B Consultants

The ‘so called’ H1-B Consultants

H1-B consultants claim to facilitate moving to the United States of America, which is a dream of all, dreamed mainly to have independence and freedom. Hence, a lot of people apply for immigration visas to be a part of this place of liberation. The US issues various kinds of visas for immigrants, each with a set of strict policies and limitations. Some of these are for the permanent Green Card, whereas some go for a work visa wherein a US based company hires you and sponsors your VISA application for immigration. This is known as an H1-B visa.

Given an enormous amount of people looking forward to move to the US, a lot of people have started taking advantage of this fact. Such people create scams and frauds regarding immigration offers. Mostly, this involves offering low-end jobs and attractive marketing gigs to attract people who are not well-aware of the policy changes. These perpetrators act as ‘so-called H1-B consultants’ and usually scam you in either running away with your money or landing you jobs in illegal or nonexistent companies in the US. This leaves the immigration applicant in the middle and ruins all the efforts that the person put in to move to the US.

How do the H1-B Consultants post scam material?

Mostly, these fraud H1-B Consultants post job offers via email, targeting the overall niche like IT professional. It lists down all possible skill requirements, making it more of a general post than a specifically targeted skill set. For instance, IT professionals required with web development, android development skills.

Tip: An open-ended job post is a warning sign of a probable scam. Watch out!

Another way to identify such scams is that such postings often contain contradicting statements like H1B visa will be sponsored as well as, down the bottom, mentions depending upon the company.

Tip: Contradicting statements in a job post is another warning sign of a scam.

Since the Trump Government has been in power, the immigration policies have become more restricted, especially after the bill to increase the minimum wage of H1B visa holder from $65,000 to $130,000. While the Trump Administration is pushing companies to “hire American, this has demoralized a lot of big companies regarding hiring foreign workers. This bill came along with another implication of making sure that the immigrants are skilled enough to be brought to the US. (Another immigration bill, the Raise Act, has also been announced by Trump in the US Senate).

Also, that there are no Americans who can do the particular job, stressing the importance of having an immigrant as an employee. People who are unaware of such policy changes often become a victim of these possible fraud provoking H-1B consultants or scammers and end up losing valuable money and efforts trying to move into the US.

What should you do to save yourself from these fraud H-1B Consultants?

My advice to all would be to keep a strict check on any policy changes regarding immigrants and make sure of them before applying for a job. Take care of the Tips mentioned above and conduct a complete fact check regarding the companies as well as the employers and the H1-B consultants companies in order to avoid scams and frauds that may cost you a fortune. It may be a hefty task for some, but believe me, it is worth it. Especially, when your hard earned money and your whole career is at stake!

Stay vigilant, Stay Safe! have a wonderful career in the US!

Trump has announced the Raise Act

Trump has announced the Raise Act

The Trump government has recently announced a Raise Act, an immigration bill, in the US Senate. The bill, RAISE, is an acronym which stands for Reforming American Immigration for Stronger Employment. As the name suggests, the bill strongly favors the inflow of English speaking, educated and highly qualified immigrants as opposed to the intake of lower social class immigrants with not so strong grasp on the native language. The bill actually aims to curtail the “legal” immigrations that correspond to people holding green cards, bringing in their families and relatives as the US Policy previously allowed for.

The US has always been open to opportunities for all and a place for everyone to live in the land of freedom and independence. However, the new policy aims to focus more strongly on the rights and needs of the American working class rather than letting immigrants snoop in on the jobs available.

Trump & the RAISE Act

The immigrants agreed upon low wages jobs, which most Americans refused to do, leading to companies hiring low income employees and cutting down their expenses. The immigrant policy will put these companies in peril considering the restriction on the immigrant inflow. As per the new policy, only immigrants who qualify the inquiry by legislation would be given the chance to a successful immigration policy. Note that this policy aims at immigrants that come in through relatives or families already residing in the US. Changes to the H-1B Visa program already had huge implications on the Indian IT companies. This however, does not affect the number of immigrants that come in through work visa. As per an estimate conducted, in the first year the RAISE Act will cut down about 41% of the immigrants which will grow up to 50% by the 10

As per an estimate conducted, in the first year the RAISE Act will cut down about 41% of the immigrants which will grow up to 50% by the 10th year, whereas the immigrants coming in through the work visa will remain approximately the same. The reason for so is quoted to be the fact that those who apply through for work visa, already qualify the basic requirements that have been setup through the RAISE act, which includes fluency in English, financial ability to support themselves and their families, a strong educational background and an exceptional record of achievements.

This bill, as described, is said to lay focus on the rights of the American workers more. This meant that those immigrants, who would displace a normal American worker by accepting lower wages, would no longer do so. Hence, giving the American working class a chance to strive to earn for themselves and curb the work force gap in the US.

Given the already low unemployment rate in the US, some criticize it to be not a bold move towards the welfare of US. Some also quote the real essence of the US is liberty and a place for all, therefore this bill contradicts the very essence of the United States of America, the land of freedom and choice.

The bill is expected to be voted upon the Senate soon and as per the overall opinion of critics, it is not likely to pass. The Republicans would require about 60 votes overall from the Senate whereas they only hold about 52 seats. The critics yet await the results of the bill, currently hovering with an ironic stance of welfare of Americans as well as curbing the idea of US being a land of freedom and choice for all.

In short, the Raise Act is a dramatic change to family immigration not for the Employment-Based System. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best!

H-1B Visas is for Indians

H-1B Visas is for Indians

It is widely believed that the United States is a country that welcomes talent whole-heartedly and what can be a better proof than the H-1B Visas? The H-1B Visa is a gateway for foreign workers to work in the country.

So, what exactly is an H-1B Visa?

The H-1B Visa is a different type of non-immigrants visa in the United States. It is through this Visa that the companies in the United States employ workers in the specialized occupations. The specialized occupations are all occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in the field of IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc. Since acquiring the green card in the US is a long process, this visa helps companies in the United States to employ staff for long-term assignments. A person himself cannot apply for an H-1B visa. It is the employer who must file a petition for entry of the employee.

As discussed above, H-1B is for jobs that require specialized skills and come under specialized occupations. For a job to be considered as a specialized occupation, it must fall into one of the following categories: “It must have a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry. The job is so complex that it can be performed only by a qualified person. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position.”

A person is eligible for the H-1B visa if one of the following is fulfilled: “He/she must have completed a US bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation. He/she holds a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree or holds an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes a person to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty or have an education, training, or experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.”

Why should Indians opt for H-1B visas?

Seventy-percent of the total H-1B visas granted annually are given to Indians. India has been made the manufacturing or assembly base of many United States’ companies.

Trump’s stance on the issue of H-1B visas:

Ever since Trump has won the office, he has accused the employers of the companies employing foreign workers via H-1B visas and replacing the Americans with cheaper foreign workers. The H-1B issue will be in three-point agenda by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. It will be presented in front of Trump wherein Modi will also be focusing on certain points. One of the main points will be regarding Indian start-ups. Especially the ones with a potential to grow into Global companies and bringing in more revenue to the United States by collaborating with local companies.

What’s next?

The Government Department responsible for Work Visas is developing a software and will launch it in a few weeks’ time. It is, right now, in the testing phase. Work visas will let the employers manage and apply for the best global talent. Through this work visas, the H-1B visa holders will get appreciated in the United States. This is because this software will raise their profiles in the community. This will also show how important the immigrants are as they bring so much talent to the state. H-1B visa is a way to keep America’s competitive advantage in technology. This is because it welcomes the F-1 students in STEM into the US job force.

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Stories will be sent to them and they will publish the stories received to raise the profiles of the H-1B visa holders. This way the H-1B visa holders will be highlighted in the workplace because what they do for the United States is commendable and needs to be appreciated.

H-1B Executive Order Issued by Trump Administration

H-1B Executive Order Issued by Trump Administration

The H-1B Executive Order that Trump had been promising for months finally arrived on April 18, 2017.  President Trump signed the H-1B Executive Order at a Snap-on Tools factory in Wisconsin.  Dubbed the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, most of what it provides is up to debate.

The executive order really lacks specifics and places all the burden on defining what changes will come to H-1B visa policy on other branches of the executive, like Homeland Security, Department of Justice, State Department, and the Department of labor.

The executive order does not really address H-1B visa holders very much, it provides:

Sec. 5.  Ensuring the Integrity of the Immigration System in Order to “Hire American.”  (a)  In order to advance the policy outlined in section 2(b) of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.

(b)  In order to promote the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

The H-1B Executive Order only mentions H-1B visas three times.

The first time H-1B visas are specifically mentioned is in the definition section to link them to the defined term “petition beneficiaries.”  The next two times are from the section above.  Basically, all the executive order does is tell other executive branches of government to “suggest reforms” so that H-1B visas go to the best, brightest, and highest paid visa holders.

We at Work Visas Solutions believe the forthcoming regulations will reflect an “America First” H-1B whereby the visas are given to people educated in the United States and to the highest paid applicants.

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H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% from 2016

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% from 2016

H-1B Visa Applications drop almost 16% in Donald Trump’s first lottery. There is an upside, your chance of being awarded an H-1B visa increased!!!  In 2016, USCIS received 236,000 applications for only 85,000 available H-1B visas, or only about 36% chance of being awarded.  This year because USCIS only received 199,000 H-1B visa applications for the same 85,000 spots.  This means that the average applicants chances of being awarded an H-1B increased to 42%!!  That’s great news for talented internationals that want to stay in the United States after their education.

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% to 199,000

USCIS announced:

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency reported the H-1B visa applications drop, then conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.  So having a master’s degree somewhat increases your chance because first you are placed in the pool of 20,000, then if you fail to be selected, the application is dumped into the general lottery for 65,000 remaining H-1B visas.

As announced on March 3, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

* Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;

* Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

* Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

* Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

 

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