Businesses in California and throughout the country are filing record numbers of applications in order to be able to bring more foreign workers in to take jobs in the science, engineering and computer fields. Applications for employment-based visas are limited by Congress to 85,000 per year, and only 20,000 are specifically available for those with a master's degree are higher. Despite the limit, more than 233,000 applications have already been filed for 2016.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services typically uses a lottery process to assign visas to companies seeking to hire foreign talent. This lottery is done by a computer program to ensure that it is administrated fairly. Because of the increased number of applications, employers have only a 36 percent chance of obtaining an H-1B visa.
For many years, employers in the science and technology fields have lobbied Congress to allow more immigrants to work in the U.S.. Experts estimate that half a million jobs per year are lost to the limits imposed by Congress on the granting of these visas. However, on report suggest that there is little chance that Congress will address the issue or change the limits any time soon.
Those who need help in sorting out problems associated with work visas and other issues may choose to work with employment immigration attorneys. Attorneys who have experience in dealing with the often complicated regulations surrounding legal immigration may be able to offer advice on how to handle various situations that arise for those who want to work or live in the U.S. as well as those who want to petition for citizenship.