The Ultimate H1B Visa Guide and Tips for Indians

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With President Donald Trump’s announcement that the proposed policy change in the allocation of H1B Visas is going to make the process tougher than before, there is a lot of nervousness in the many people who have set sights for a living in the united states of America.

If you are one of them and don’t want administrative policy changes getting in the way of your future, here is a look at the Top 5 H1b visa tips today with Trumps’ proposed changes.

  1. Apply As Early As Possible.

This just cannot be stressed enough. Visa applications for the next year will be accepted from the month of april of the previous year. Do if you are planning to be in the US next year, April the 1st is the date that you have to catch.

2. H1B Visa Lottery

If the USCIS gets more applications that the Visa limit in the first five working days, then a computer initiated randomised system will be adopted to pick out the accepted visa list. If your application reaches later than this date, then it will be summarily rejected.

3. Look For An American Employer To Sponsor You.

H1B visa cap is targeted at employers who do not have a head office in the United States. So if you manage to get an American based company to be your sponsor, then in the spirit of equality, your visa application will be stronger than the others.

4. Avoid Credential Evaluation Delays and Laches.

This tip is for those applicants who have had a non US graduate degree. The visa eligibility requires you to have a degree equivalent to a 4-year graduate programme of the US. For this verification, a credential evaluation agency will first ascertain whether or not your academic qualifications fall through.

This agency is independent of the USCIS and will take its time to make its evaluation. Make sure you send them your transcripts well in advance so that the unnecessary delays in the evaluation are avoided successfully.  

5. Get Labour Condition Application Certified As Soon As Possible

As with the credential evaluation, this process also takes its own time to certify your labour condition application, so apply well in advance.

When do You Need to File an H1B Visa Amendment Petition?

What is H1B Amendment?

USCIS needs to be notified when your terms and conditions of the original H1B petition is no longer valid. The Amendment petition has to be filed by your employer when such material changes take place involving your job or eligibility.1400x1400_11654194

When do Employers Need to File the H1B Amendment Petition?

There are certain cases where the employer must notify the USCIS through the Amendment petition:

  • You job responsibilities change from what is mentioned in the initial H1B petition
  • You are transferred from one job location or office to another not included in the original Labor Condition Application (LCA). The new agency acts as the current employer and the old one is removed from the responsibility. However, if your job field remains unchanged by the transfer, your employer remains same with a valid supporting LCA, there is no need for amendment.
  • If the job changes from full time to part-time or the opposite.
  • There is change of employer, a new LCA has to be filed with the Department of Labor. It transfers the H1B visa responsibilities to the new employer making him liable for H1B visa employee’s return conveyance costs.
  • When your sponsor company creates a third entity by joining another company, there in need for H1B visa amendment. The newly formed company now holds your H1B responsibilities.

Exceptions to H1B Amendment

The following cases do not require your employer to file any petition:

  • If there is any new ownership structure not changing the employer.
  • If the sponsor company changes name. They can notify the change while applying for any extensions of the H1B visa status of the candidate.
  • If there is just change or branches within a single company without any change of employer.
  • When the job position or title of the candidate goes through a change without effecting his responsibilities considerably.

Your employer has to file the H1B visa amendment petition with the USCIS and it is their responsibility to issue the notification. You may consult with your employer if you think your job role or responsibilities have underwent change. Any change of employer or H1B sponsor also needs to be notified accordingly with USCIS.

Joining an American University through Exemption in H1B Visa Rules

A current exemption in the rules regarding H1B visas makes foreign nationals with specific skills eligible for working in American universities. Getting an H1B visa otherwise is a difficult and strenuous process where only a certain number of candidates are selected through a machine-generated lottery.

The cap is on companies hiring foreign nationals to work in the STEM (Science, technology, Engineering, and Math) categories. Foreign workers must be backed with a sponsoring employer before they can enter the annual lottery.

Exemption for H1B Visas

Employees of American universities who serve the institution or provide services towards it can get their H1B visas directly. This exemption is seen as a loophole by critics which enables foreigners to enter America and work easily. Nonetheless, it serves the interest of many students who come into America for their graduation or masters.

Many of them have to leave the country due to the strict regulations around H1B visas. Many promising entrepreneurs thus leave the country who otherwise would have liked to start their own project in the United States.

Joining a University can Lead to a Work Permit

The exemption in the system can be utilized by foreigners to get a work permit and start their career in America. They can work in the university and develop their own business alongside. Many universities offer such programs including University of Massachusetts, University of Alaska-Anchorage, City University of New York, Alaska Pacific University, University of Colorado-Boulder and Babson College.

The college has around 1000 graduate students leaving the country every year who would have loved to stay back and start their own company. The immigration laws do not provide justice to a system and are not fit for the society.

The programs offered by the universities present a solution to promising entrepreneurs for staying in the country and starting their career. The exemption is used as an advantageous flexibility by the universities to help entrepreneurs come into the US without the need of sponsoring them. Applicants have will need to be a graduate from any recognized university to be eligible to enter the programs.

Hillary Clinton Clarifies Her Stance on H1B Visas

Recently there has been a lot of excitement and apprehension about the much debated H1B visas of USA. A new bill is waiting to be passed which can limit the freedom of technological companies of Silicon Valley to hire foreign workers. The topic remains sensitive considering the various aspects related to immigration in the United States. Presidential candidates have also taken on the subject and presented their own opinions and stands.

Hillary Clinton’s Initial Stance on H1B Visas

Hillary Clinton who is presenting the Democratic Party in the presidential elections changed her stance on H1B Visas while speaking at the United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Earlier her stand on the issue was rather discouraging when she gave an interview to Vox.

She was quoted from the interview giving her views which deal with a reform of the present immigration system and laws. According to her, there are many considerations other than the population of America that has to be made. She thinks immigrants should satisfy certain standards and go through mandatory steps before getting to work in the country. But she believed in strict control over the H1B Visas that enables certain industries in the USA to hire foreign labor. The tight control, in her view, helped America to serve the bigger picture.

Hillary Changes Her Stance at LULAC Conference

At the recent conference, Hillary vowed to protect the interest of the existing immigrants in America, their family members and those seeking to come into the country. She considers it a serious issue as it relates to families, she said to a room packed with Latinos. Earlier she had impressed strongly about the vulnerabilities of H1B Visas which can promote a foreign worker over a local counterpart because of wage difference.

In a recent speech, she clarified her earlier comments to Vox and said it was an important job to preserve the rights and safeguard the skilled foreign labor on H1B Visas. The special work visas were just a part of the total reform which concerns the whole of immigration and different aspects dealing with it. Balancing all the elements and creating an overall fair and discrimination free system should be the aim of American immigration laws.

How to Get H1B Visas Sponsors?

The H1B Visa has been a hot topic for quite some time in the politics of USA. It has seen various bills and regulations imposing restrictions on US companies to hire foreign labor. Yet the number of applications overshoots the cap determined by law by many times. Many foreign nationals depend on H1B Visas to enter the US and work to start their career. But many fail to find a proper sponsor to forward the visa applications.

Any H1B Visa request has to be filed by the US company. It is not possible for an H1B Visa immigrant to work in the US without a valid sponsor. Companies can only get their visas granted when they can prove to the labor department about the unavailability of a suitable workforce in USA to meet the job demands.

The professions are also from specialized skill zones like technology and engineering. The best way to find a sponsor for H1B Visas is looking for a job in a company which sponsors such visas. There are also some other ways which can help a worker to secure H1B Visa sponsor.

Apply for H1B Visa Jobs

There are many American online job portals like Monster, Dice where one can access job offers for H1B Visas. The qualifications will decide the type of jobs available to a candidate. One needs to register and apply to the suitable jobs and wait for a call.

Search H1B Visa Sponsor List

The US department of Labor releases information on H1B Visa under public disclosure acts. It provides a database of H1B Visa sponsors along with information about the job offerings made in the past 5 years. The database can be downloaded as text or excel files. Another easy way to access the database is look up websites which offer the complete database with details like salary rates, approvals, etc.

Internship to H1B Visas

Immigrants already in America on some visa can get an internship in a company that may be willing to forward their H1B Visa applications. The database and job portals will be a good starting place to find such internships. Applicants can introduce the idea of sponsoring H1B Visas to their employer after securing the internship.

Reddit Event Reveals Donald Trump’s Perceptions on H1B Visas

Donald Trump and his stance on the H1B Visas have been quite discouraging for the US companies who want to hire foreign nationals. The opinions of Trump have changed many times over the past year though he does not view immigration on favorable terms. He spoke to a CNN interview in July 2015 and vowed to move back all undocumented immigrants back to their countries. He then moved on to change his opinion about the deportations and said they won’t be called mass deportations, though he will deport millions.

Recently Trump was on Reddit communicating with his fans and taking questions under ‘ask me anything’ philosophy. The event did not really follow on the terms of the philosophy and was hosted by anonymous Donald Trump fans. The participants were regulated by the moderators who allowed only firm Trump supporters to join in. There were many questions asked and some revolved around immigration and the H1B Visas.

Trump’s take on H1B Visas was an exact opposite of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who wants to protect the rights of the immigrants and their families. In the event, Trump mentioned his rival as “Crooked Hillary Clinton” making the war uglier around the presidential elections. Trump’s views on H1B Visas were quite harsh in the last year when he wanted to end it outright if he came to power.

He perceived it as an instrument violating the right of native American workers and creating discrimination towards the nation. In his debate given to CNN last year, he termed H1B Visas very bad for Americans. He claimed to be well conversant with all aspects of H1B Visas and believed America does not deserve to continue it.

The scenario around H1B Visas has been a trending topic in politics, news and among the Silicon Valley leaders like Apple and Facebook to take in foreign resource from countries with a cheap supply of talent from special skilled areas. The move on H1B Visas has the potential to harm or benefit USA and needs an open and honest approach to deal with the issue. Losing out on opportunities is never beneficial for any economy and the politicians should always hold the interest of the nation above anything while making their moves.

America’s Anti-immigration Policies Aid Mexican Businesses

Even though US President Trump’s anti-immigration policies are affecting immigrants of the country, Mexico is largely benefiting by the move. US tech giants like Facebook and Amazon are expanding their campuses to Mexico across the south border. In the first half of 2017, Amazon opened an engineering unit in Mexico City. Facebook has signed some local groups to develop technical talent in the country.

Software giant, Oracle, is planning to expand its office in the Jalisco state that will most definitely create hundreds of employment opportunities. There is a group in Guadalajara, Jalisco’s capital that is dedicated to recruit startups. The group is expecting at least 10 new companies to set up industries in the state and finalizing contracts of 60 more.

Due to Trump’s restriction on H1B visas tech companies are unable to hire immigrants. This has forced the companies to open offices in countries from Canada and Mexico to China. Around 600,000 illegal Mexican immigrants in the USA are protected under the US Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme. According to the programme, illegal immigrants brought to the US as children are protected for deportation.

Trump to let DACA expire

In September 2017, Trump announced that the US government is going to let DACA expire. This only means that these illegal immigrants will have to go abroad to find jobs. Bismarck Lepe, chief executive of Wizeline, a San Francisco tech firm, said that these illegal immigrants also known as American dreamers have enough time to make their American dream come true in other nations. Wizeline currently employs 260 people in his Mexico office.

It is still unsure whether the tech industry in Mexico is long or deep rooted. The Mexican government still hasn’t seen a surge in temporary residency visa applications. All major companies are rooting for Mexico as it neighbors the US and will reduce illegal immigration in the future.

Top 5 Countries With The Maximum H1B Visa

The H1B visa is an employment-based dual intent immigration scheme obtained by people belonging to specialty occupations category. People from all over the world migrate to the US for employment opportunities but there are certain nations receiving the maximum number of H1B visa with the highest approval rates for their applications.

Contributing factors could be anything: their qualifications, expertise, work ethic and ease of communication. Here are the top five countries receiving the maximum H1B visas.

H1B Visa: The Top Countries

India

India continues to stay at the no.1 position for H1B visas with a past record of 86 % in 2014. The H1B visa is utilized to the maximum by people of Indian descent and the maximum share of these visas is awarded to IT professionals who work for Indian origin IT firms based in the US. This can be attributed primarily to the skill scarcity of IT professionals in the US.

China

Chinese constitute the 3rd largest immigrant group in the US but their visa percentages are contrary to this figure. In comparison with India, Chinese nationals obtained only 5% of the H1B visas. But there are many other visa programmes where the Chinese comprise the highest percentage.

Canada

Canada is a friendly neighbour of the US and makes up around 1% of approved H1B visas. Moreover, Canadians can avail many other visa programmes which are much more lucrative than the H1B.

South Korea

The Koreans make a substantial portion of the US H1B brigade due to their high technological expertise and skills at enterprising and entrepreneurship. South Koreans comprise a percentage of 1.7% of the visas allotted.

Mexico

Mexico is a neighbour of the US and ranks just below Canada pertaining to visa allotments and approvals. Canada and Mexico have other much better visa schemes than the H1B visa which is why the makes the percentage is so less.

How Will Trump’s Order On H1B Visa Affect Indian Techies?

The H1b visa has had its fair share of debate recently. US President Donald Trump’s decision regarding H-1B visa will affect Indian workers the most. Highly skilled Indian workers especially Indian techies are most worried about the decision. President Trump said that the US will now be giving the H-1B visa only to the highly skilled and most paid immigrants. The visa is not a way to replace American workers.

The U.S. Worry About H1B Visas

President Trump, for one, said a while back that currently there is widespread abuse of immigration system in India. American workers are replaced by these immigrants who often get paid really less. He feels that it has to stop for the country to progress further.

Before signing it at Wisconsin, Trump said that the order will be long pending solution for stopping visa abuses. Currently, the H-1B visa is given to applicants on a lottery basis. He also said that no can compete with American workers if they are given a fair and level playing field. They deserve a chance, which they haven’t got for a few decades.

Enforcing Hire American Rules for H1B Visa

Trump’s administration will be enforcing ‘Hire American’ rules, which will safeguard the rights of Americans at their work. A White House representative said that the US will only bring the most deserving, highly skilled, and highest paid people in the country. However, studies reflect a different intention.

Around 80 percent of people that were given H-1B visas belonged to the two lowest wage levels. Companies hire immigrants on H-1B visa and replace American workers at a lower wage. One of Trump’s biggest election promise was to reform the H-1B system.

As per Congress’s rules, US Citizenship and Immigration Services allots around 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 to those who have a degree in masters or higher education from American universities. The US gives 50,000 permanent residencies every year. Out of which only 10,000 is given to Indians despite being a huge contributing group to the US economy.

 

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