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Tag: H – 1B

H – 1B prediction for April 1, 2015

For over 15 years of practicing the immigration law, we have encountered years wherein the H – 1B applications were filled up within the first day, and we’ve seen the H-1B visa program available throughout the entire year. Not only is every year different, in prior years the number of H – 1B has varied. Fortunately, for the last few years the number has remained at 85,000. Last year there were about 50% rejection rate based on a roughly 164,000 H-1B’s submitted. The question we are receiving from our clients is “Do we believe the percentage of rejection will be higher than 50%?” First off, those who have a Masters degree in the United States have an advantage of additional 20,000 H – 1B available to them, and if rejected, their H – 1B application gets move to the regular 65,000 available H – 1Bs. Therefore, our prediction is for the regular 65,000 H – 1Bs that are available by April 1, 2015 for an October 1st, 2015 start date. Based on the economy improving and the H – 1B applications that our clients have already submitted to us to prepare, we are estimating a 50% or 55% rejection rate. We hope that we are incorrect and that more H – 1Bs will be accepted but we have prepared our clients for this possible scenario.

Since only less than 50% of H-1B applicants were chosen this year for the lottery, there exist a dilemma of what to do next? Some applicants are able to apply for H-2B visas which are considered as seasonal visas. The applicants usually apply for an 11 month visa, and then have the option to file the application for H – 1B visa again in April 1, 2015. Depending on the circumstances of the company, the H – 2B will serve as a stop gap to allow the applicant another chance for the H – 1B lottery in 2015. Another option is an L-1A Multinational Executive Visa, and in some cases an L – 2B visa. Whether or not the applicant is eligible depends on the circumstances of the US company applying for him or her, and also the educational background and work experiences in their home country. In fact some applicants move to an F – 1 and take college courses, or even courses such as cooking, drawing or music classes while they wait to reapply in April 1, 2015 for the H – 1B lottery. Unfortunately, until Congress decides to increase the H – 1B visas per year to over 200,000, which was the case six years ago, applicants will have to find creative ways to stay in the United States while they wait to be chosen for the H – 1B lottery.

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Andrew P. Johnson - Immigration Lawyer