Dip in H-1B visa numbers Due to Recent US Legislation

by admin on April 17, 2011

The demand for H1B visas in the USA has dipped recently, in response to tough new visa rules and an increase in the fees to apply for US H-1B visas, among other influencing factors. IT companies, by far the most prominent business sector to seek out H-1B visas for employees, are now seen to sponsor fewer professionals for H-1B visas as they increasingly look for talented employees within the US workforce. As unemployment is still high in the US currently, there are numerous skilled workers available at moderate salaries and companies are attempting to avoid the new hefty visa fees by pulling from the local work pool. Some of these companies are also increasingly looking to inter-company transfers to send workers between different locations, where they may apply for a category L1 visa for their employees and bypass the H-1B option. For Thai individuals or Thai companies looking into different visa options to send their employees for a temporary stay in the US, the best option is to contact a qualified Thailand lawyer experienced in US visa applications and the US Immigration system.

To date the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received 5,900 H-1B visa petitions, with a cap set at 20,000 for people with advanced degrees. This number is lower than in the past, but there is room for it to increase before the deadline to submit applications in October.

H-1B visas became a popular option for employers because they can be extended from three years to six years. However, due to the recent legislation, companies with less than 50 percent of local staff now have to pay higher fees for this visa category. The visa fee has almost doubled due to this new legislation, increasing to $8000 USD from the previous $4000 USD.

In the past plentiful years of this visa category, up to 60,000 visas were issued per year.

Now, numbers have been revealed demonstrating the sharp decrease in the number of applicants, particularly those of Indians receiving H-1B visas over the last several years.

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