The Ultimate H1B Visa Guide You Need to Read

For many, the United States is the much-preferred choice. The U.S routinely takes temporary high-skilled workers by issuing H1B visas. It is petitioned through the employer who is offering the job in the US Immigration Department which when approved allows you to get a visa stamped.

An important step is filing your H1B application. It is considered a delicate task because of simple mistakes made on the application lower one’s chance of getting visa approval. These mistakes can be easily avoided by simply following the given tips.

The Top H1B Visa Filing Tips

1)    No duplicate filing.

Do not have multiple H1B petitions filed on behalf of the same person in the same fiscal year. These are severely discouraged by the USCIS. If such filing is done, the USCIS will deny all such applications.

2)    Terms of Employment and obligations

There is an obligation of paying the prevailing wage at least by the employer based on the employee’s occupation and place of employment. The basic terms of employment such as the type of work, wages paid, the location of employment, work hours and so on need to be mutually agreed upon by both the employer and employee.

Moreover, this information must be carefully filled in the Labor Condition Application (LCA) that the employer submits to the Department of Labor.

3)    Labor Condition Application

As stated above, the employer has to submit the Labor Condition Application to the Department of Labor where it will take at least a week to be certified. After careful examination of the filled details, the employer needs to sign an original copy and a duplicate copy that needs to be included in the H1B package.

There will be times where the company would have filed multiple LCAs in the case of employees working at multiple locations. While submitting the form ensure the correct LCA number is mentioned. Many times this careless mistake will put you in a tight spot.

4)    Relevant Documents

Many relevant documents like the employee’s degree, complete transcripts, resume, work experience letters and others are required with the petition. Ensure that the copies of these documents get included in the H1B package.

5)    Accuracy

There will be numerous fields like the employee’s job title, work location, which needs careful filling. You must ensure accuracy.

Accuracy is very crucial in cases like this. Ensure that the details on the forms match the ones on the certified LCA and documents provided.

6)    Signatures

Original signatures are necessary on each form, and all signatures should be made in blue ink to differentiate the original signature from the one on the copy made.

7)    Clear Indication of the Cap applied

Another significant step is ensuring the proper labeling of H1B caps. Verify the eligibility and state it clearly on the cap cover letter, forms and H1B package.

Labeling the caps in red ink on top margin of Form I-12 petition is advisable. Some of the common codes used are Reg. Cap, C/S Cap, U.S Master and Exempt.

Keeping the tips in mind, start filing your H1B petitions!

Top Tax Tips for H1B Employees

If you are on an H1B Visa and a US resident at the same time, then you’re subject to all the general income tax laws on your annual income as any other US resident. You can also save tax like resident US employees through various means.

Practical Tax Tips

If you are on an H1B workers visa, we have for you some valuable tips to reflect on:

The Essential W-2 for Complete Records

Form W-2 is the starting point from where all the preparation of the tax returns starts. It is a document in which all the details of your yearly payroll are mentioned along with the taxes withheld by the employer from the said payroll.

You should always collect this W-2 document from your employer at the end of the year and keep them handy. There will be multiple W-2 forms if you’ve worked for multiple employers in a year in which case you need to collect them all.

Avail Spousal Exemption

You can gain spousal exemption from the tax returns if you are on an H1B Visa and have a spouse by filing a declaration on your tax returns.

You need to apply an ITIN along with your tax returns to apply for a spousal exemption. An ITIN is an Income Tax Identification Number, and this can be availed by simply filling a W-7 Form along with your tax returns.

Make Investments

It is a common but important step to avail deductions from your tax returns. Your employer must have provided with retirement plans like IRA and 401K. If not, then you should consider investing in one.

Investing in stocks, mutual funds and fixed deposits can also help save taxes significantly.

Apply for Loans

You can get deductions for the mortgage of your home along with real estate tax by buying a home.

Student loans also earn you deductions saving tax.

You can also avail deductions for:

  • Specific medical costs and medical transportation
  • Contributions to charity
  • Charges for preparation of tax filing
  • Unclaimed business expenses of employees

You can also get in touch with a tax consultant if you feel you are paying a high amount of tax. Their experience will help you develop the correct strategies and make the right investments to save your taxes.

The Duties of an H1B visa holder

Any venture comes with responsibilities, and this is no different for H1B visas. Matters of fact, when you get an approved H1B visa, the responsibilities are at a higher stake.

You are going to work in the USA under an American company who has paid for your visa charges. You need to ensure that you fulfill these responsibilities to avoid any distress. Some responsibilities as an H1B worker are listed below.

Responsibilities of an H1B visa holder

1)    One must abide by all terms and conditions stated by your employer sponsoring you and perform the necessary duties as mentioned in your LCA. You are not allowed to work in any other city or another job that is not referred to in your LCA.

In the case of such changes, get your employer to change the details in the LCA.

2)    You cannot enter the United States more than 10 days before the validity date as mentioned in the LCA.

It is forbidden.

3)    It is very crucial that you are aware when your H1b status expires. You are not permitted to stay once the expiration date is reached.

Form I-94 is usually issued to you, mostly online and it is your responsibility to check it. In the case of any mistake regarding the status expiration date on Form I-94, it is your sole responsibility to discover and rectify it.

Note that though your approval notice might say a different date, the final date printed on the I-94 form is what finally validates your status.

4)    In the case of extending your status beyond the expiration date, filing an H1b extension to the USCIS before the expiry of your status falls under your duties.

5)    If your current employment is terminated due to any reason, you are required to leave the United States immediately, unless filed for another H1B petition through another employer.

6)    The filing of H1B application requires submitting relevant documents like education qualification resume, work experience, etc.

Ensure that these are authentic and genuine.

7)    You cannot partake in jobs, be it a second job or part-time work without your employer filing another H1B petition. Pyramid schemes, online business, working for your website or any other work that pays in your home country are a big no.

They are considered illegal according to the laws of the United States.

8)    During your stay in the United States, ensure that you follow all the rules and legislation of the country.

These are the general duties and responsibilities that you must abide by once you enter USA on an H1B visa.

 

How does the payroll system work for an H1B employee?

An H1B Visa is a golden ticket for overseas people to work in the US despite their lack of citizenship and they are entitled to work in the US on this H1B Visa for up to 6 years. They are paid by the sponsoring company and included in their regular payroll.

Let’s see how the payroll system works for an H1B employee!

How does an H1B Employee Payroll Function?

Prevailing wage

It is an employer’s prerogative to set a wage for an employee or a worker but in the case of H1B consultants, they must be offered a wage that meets or exceeds the customary wage set by the Federal Government.

Taxation

Federal Taxation is exempted for the H1B workers. However, they are still required to pay the Medicare and the Social Security taxes that should be withheld from their payroll with the processing of the same. The H1B tax exemption varies from state to state, and the State Department of Revenue can be consulted to determine the eligibility for an exemption.

Payment terms

According to the norms set by the Federal Government, the H1B workers need to be paid by the employers even in the case of a workplace shut down. The sole purpose of the H1B Visa is for overseas people to work in the US and if they are not being paid, then it means that it does not justify their stay in the US because they are apparently not working.

Bench payment

The employee must be paid by the employer even if the employee is between projects or on the fence about the jobs. This status of being “between projects” is referred to as being “benched” employees.

Ergo, the benched employees also need to be paid if they hold an H1B Visa. An employer has the right to pay a consultant for his actual work, but if that consultant is an H1B Visa holder, the employer has to pay the employee even in the case of down periods.

It sometimes makes the companies shy away from going into agreements with consultants holding an H1B Visa when they can obviously employ workers who can continue working for them without any breaks or pauses.

H1B Resident Test Calculation Guide

H1B resident test is required to determine the amount of tax you will be paying to the US government. There is a difference in rates between the two statuses, and you should identify yours to file correct tax amounts.

Resident Alien and a Non-Resident Alien

You need to comprehend the difference between a Resident Alien and a Non-Resident Alien and know the rules of the IRS to calculate the H1B Resident test calculation. If you know these two, you are sorted.

What is a Substantial Presence Test?

A Substantial Presence Test is basically to determine the residency of an individual in layman’s terms. It is based on the days of the presence of a person in the United States.

It is used to determine if you are a Resident Alien or a Non-Resident Alien and is essentially for tax purposes.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Exempt Individuals are always considered Non-Resident Aliens for tax which is why they need not gauge their residency through the Substantial Presence Test. For example, foreign government-related individuals come under the category of the Exempt Individuals.

How to pass a Substantial Presence Test?

There are a few requirements that should be met to clear a Substantial Presence Test. They are:

  1. It is a must to have been physically present for at least 31 days in the US for the current year.
  2. You must be physically present in the country for 183 days throughout a span of 3 years i.e. the current year and the two former years just before that.

Definition of terms

When we say “Days of presence,” it means that the number of days a person was physically present in the US during a particular span of period. These days of presence must first be determined to calculate the Substantial Presence from the test.

It does not count as days of presence if say, your stay in the US got extended due to a related medical issue or if you are a crew member in a foreign vessel.  If you are unsure how to proceed, it is better to consult a tax expert to get required assistance.

How to file an H1B Visa Petition?

The H1B visa is one of the standard work visas required to work in the USA. To get your H1B visa, you have to find an employer who is willing to apply for the visa on your behalf. Only employers offering a job can apply for your H1B visa by submitting a petition to the Immigration Department of the USA.

You can search for your sponsor from online websites who post job offers. It may take some time to come across a promising sponsor.

Getting a digital photograph

The visa application must contain a digital photograph with suitable dimensions.

  • The square shaped photograph should be at least 600 x 600 or at most 1200 x 1200 pixels.
  • It must be a color photograph in .jpg or .jpeg format, and size should not exceed 240 KB.

Fill up details in DS160 H1B visa application form

The form DS160 for H1B visa application must be completed online. You can go to the Department of State website to complete this form. Once you submit the form, you will receive a 10-digit barcode as confirmation. You must take a printout of this page as it will be required for your interview appointment later.

Pay the fee

H1B visa application requires you to pay the visa processing fee online or at the bank. You can complete bank transfer or pay the fee as cash in authorized banks by the USCIS.

You have to create your profile first at US visa service website and Schedule an appointment. Once you make the payment, you must make an appointment for your interview within a year. The fee you paid will be valid for one year after the date of payment.

Get your visa interview appointment

You have to take a two-part interview appointment by registering with the US visa appointment official website. The first appointment will be held at Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) and the next one will be a personal visa interview conducted at the Embassy or Consulate.

Take appointment for fingerprinting

Before attending the personal interview, you have to schedule an appointment with Visa Application Center (VAC) for giving biometrics information. Then, you can appear for the personal interview.

Attend an interview at the US consulate

On the day of personal interview carry photograph, passport, DS160 form stamped at VAC, fee receipts, petition-related documents and evidence.

The interview is not very tough to crack and just needs you to be calm and relaxed. Answer to the point and do not disclose any unwanted information.

How Much is an H1B Employee Paid Today?

The H1B visa is a skilled work visa to bring foreign talents to the United States of America. The basic requirement for applying an H1B visa is a bachelor’s degree or higher or its equivalent.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa as it allows US employers to hire temporary works for up to 3 years which can then be extended for another 3 years. The annual cap for H1B visas is 65000 with an additional 20000 visas for employees with a master’s degree or higher.

So there is a huge competition among the American companies seeking foreign talent to fill up their job positions.

How much are H1B workers paid?

H1B visa holders are not cheap laborers for companies in the USA. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), H1B visa holders must be paid prevailing wage range according to the Department of Labor (DOL).

  • Only highly skilled and educated people are given the H1B visa, and they are compensated well.
  • Median H1B employees earn at least $4,250 annually.
  • The average salary for H1B visa holder is at least 50% above the mean salary for a USA worker.

Range of Wages and Salaries

The salary paid to H1B visa holders differ with different industries and companies. LinkedIn pays up to $140,000 while Apple pays $134,000 on an average. Some companies hiring H1B talents don’t pay a six figure income. Even giants like IBM pay an average of $87,000 while Accenture pays about $76,000.

Most of the H1B visa holders are experts in computer programming and engineering. The demand for H1B visas continues to rise due to a shortage of skilled talents in the US.

The minimum wage of an H1B worker may go up to $ 110,000 per year

Due to the exorbitant amount of applications, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started selecting applicants based on a computer lottery. This means that foreign workers may not be eligible for H1B visa even if they have a valid employment offer and exceptional educational qualification.

To prevent the companies from abusing H1B employees and hiring cheap labor, the Republican Ted Cruz has launched a bill in the Senate of the US to increase the minimum salary of H1B employees to $110,000 per year. Even though the bill has very minimal chances of passing legislation, it can bring about numerous changes.

The H1B Visa Approval Guide Process

Is it a good idea to get an H1B Visa from a consultant?

You have to get hold of an American company to sponsor your H1B visa. Applying for an H1B Visa with the help of a consultant has a lot of benefits. The responsibility of covering the fees of the H1B Visa lies with the sponsoring company, but a consultant can be helpful in this regard as well.

Few words of caution

However, it is essential that you deal only with trustworthy H1B consultants to avoid the unpleasantness of being shortchanged. A good key to finding a consultant fit for the job is to look for a reputable client base and past accreditations based on the consultant’s work.

How does a reliable consultant help you?

• A consultant’s job starts with the filing of your petition for the H1B Visa, and the consultant stays with you throughout this process till the very end.
• A consultant is responsible for helping you out with the filing of the petition by ensuring that you get all the details of the application process right and do not miss out on any of the essentials.
• They help you out with the do’s and don’ts during this procedure and are a perfect guide to help you out with the challenging aspects.

How to take advantage of a sponsoring consultant?

H1B Visa consultants are more than happy to file the petitions of the H1B Visa for you because that is essentially how they make money. The sponsoring companies hesitate at times to go ahead with it due to the risk of you not getting the visa in the lottery.

Also, you can be smart about it and hire multiple consultants to file the H1B Visa for you which is how you can scale this process. You can reach out to multiple H1B Visa consultants and choose, and they can file separate H1B Visa petitions for you. It will dramatically increase your chances of being selected and granted a visa in the lottery due to multiple petitions.

There is no doubt that these consultants are very helpful in getting you to your final destination which is a grant of the H1B Visa but you should be careful about who you choose, and you’ll be good to go!

 

Can a lawyer help you quicken your H1B Visa process?

The people gearing up to file a petition for the H1B Visa usually has one prominent question in their minds –

Do I need an attorney or a lawyer to help me quicken things up to attain the hyped H1B Visa?

To find out the answer to that question, read on!

Can an attorney help employers and employees?

The employers or the sponsoring companies are responsible for filling the application forms and also for paying the fee of the H1B Visa, but it is a lawyer who can help the skilled workers with the strategy in the form filling and other activities.

Lawyers or attorneys know their way around the applications, lottery systems, and the conditions imposed throughout this process which is why they can help you a lot to get that visa.

Capabilities of a lawyer

A lawyer is capable of working his way through all the legal jargon that will probably take you ages to comprehend. It helps you to quicken the visa process and efficiently place your petition or application for the H1B visa in a smooth and hassle-free manner.

More often than not, there can be legal terminology in the application forms that can impede in your understanding of the entire form and this is where lawyers come into play. They ensure a smooth sailing process of the form filling and submission of the petition that ultimately increases your chances of being granted the H1B Visa by dramatic proportions.

Is an attorney essential?

It is often the case that even multinationals and large corporations that you work for and that sponsor you for the H1B Visa are at a disadvantage because they can help you out with the form filling process but there may be gaps or blind spots that are missed both parties and can be a recipe for disaster. Hence, the role of an attorney during this process is indispensable.

All in all, it is safe to say that if you don’t have an attorney for your H1B Visa, you will be at a severe disadvantage as compared to those who do. Leading sponsoring companies will assign an attorney to their aspiring H1B candidates in most cases to help them ease the process of the visa acquisition.

Steps After H1B Visa Approval

All the lucky people who have been approved for the H1B Visa might be wondering what to do next and what the forthcoming few steps are after the H1B Visa is approved!

Read on to find out!

The approval notice

After the H1B Visa is approved, the employer who sponsored your visa will get the approval notice from the USCIS after which you can take the visa to the consular post for the visa stamping.

Visa stamping

You can apply for the Visa stamping for up to 90 days with the US Department of State Consular after the approval of the H1B Visa. It is recommended that you apply for the Visa stamping as early as you can without any delay as you can avoid last minute delays this way.

Things can sometimes also go wrong with the Visa stamping wherein the admin processes the Visa documents that need to be submitted by you to the US Consulate. This can lead to a denial of the US Visa stamping.

But if all goes as planned and your visa stamping is approved, you can prepare yourself and pack your bags to travel to US. You only need to count the days till you are allowed to catch that flight and land in America!

Traveling to USA

After the H1B Visa stamping from the US Consulate, you can enter the United States only 10 days prior to your start date on the H1B approval notice that you have.

Also, it is pertinent to mention here that the 90 days limit of the Visa stamping after the H1B Visa approval notice and the 10 days limit has been set and unchanged for the past few years and it is likely to remain same.

To sum it up, after the H1B Visa approval, the following steps should be followed and you’re done!

  1. USCIS approves the H1B Visa.
  2. The approval notice is sent to the employee by the employer who gets it from the USCIS.
  3. Apply for Visa stamping within 90 days of receiving the approval notice.
  4. After a successful visa stamping, you are free to enter the US prior to 10 days on the approval notice.

 

H1B Visas are the talk of the town, and it is the most sought-after visa today for skilled foreign workers who dream of working in the US. The US multinationals and even firms & companies that work on a smaller scale look for talent that they usually do not find in their own country.

It is where the H1B Visa comes into play! The visas give an opportunity to talented people from throughout the world to showcase their abilities in an American company and get work in the US, thus generating a need for this special skilled workers visa.

Which countries get most H1B visas?

India

It is a known fact today that India got awarded the maximum number of visas in 2014 with a huge percentage of 86% from throughout the world. It reveals that the highest number of H1B Visas was attained by Indians who wanted to work in the US.

These Visas were predominantly for the Indians working in tech firms.

China

The Chinese nationals comprised of only a 5% of the total percentage of visas in comparison. It is a known fact that China accounts for the third largest immigrant group in the United States of America, which was surprising when their percentage only amounted to 5% of the total.

Canada

Canada was revealed to be granted a meager 1%.

Countries like Mexico came in close after China and Canada.

What is the reason behind this distribution pattern?

The supporters of the H1B Visas were seen arguing that America is not producing enough skilled workers for personnel in the IT sector which is why it is indispensable that the companies hire skilled foreign workers.

Although these companies (not just in the IT industry but through the country) argue that they are hiring local skilled workers year after year, there is no concrete evidence or numbers to validate the same.

What is an indisputable fact is that Indians are highly vied for the jobs in sectors like technology, IT, engineering, human relations and a lot more and the same can be seen from the astounding percentage of 86% of the total H1B Visas that went to Indians in the year of 2014 alone!

H1B Visa Filing Fees – Complete Guide

 

The H1B Visa is meant for skilled workers and is essentially a non-immigrant visa. It is designed keeping in mind the U.S. companies that, through this visa, get a provision to employ foreign professionals for a period of time within the US for specialty occupations.

What are the Visa Fees?

The filing fee for the H1B Visa is to be paid to the USCIS by the H1B petitioner. This filing fee of $325 is to be paid to the USCIS by the H1B employer and the employee is not obligated to pay this fee for the petitioner.

If you go the premium processing way, a fee of $1225 is payable to the USCIS for the premium processing request either by the petitioner or by the beneficiary.

The petitioning employer is also obligated to pay a Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee starting March 8, 2015, of $500 if a change of the beneficiary’s employer is sought after.

The petitioning employer is obligated to pay an employer sponsorship fee of $1500 (for more than 25 full-time employees) and $750 (for less than 25 full-time employees). They may be exempted from this fee only in the following special cases:

If the employer is:
1. A primary or secondary education institute
2. An institution of higher education or is affiliated to one
3. Is a nonprofit organization
4. Primarily engaged in curriculum-related clinical training program or engaged in basic / applied research

If the employer has more than 50 employees working under him full-time, the employer is obligated to pay $2000 under the Public Law 111-230 signed by President Obama on August 13th, 2010. The employer is also obligated to pay 50% of the fee for the employees that are in the H1B or L1 Visa status.

It should be noted that the filing fee of $325 and the Fraud Detection fee of $500 is mandatory and there is no exception in that category.

What is indisputable is that the H1B Visa applications for the next fiscal year of 2017 will be even crazier and there just might be more surprises on the way! So carry out your calculations and determine the total fee you have to pay for your visa. Almost all of it will be paid by the H1B sponsor, so try to zero in on a suitable one.

What are the H1B Visa Requirements You Need to Meet?

H1B visas are in high demand as they give the opportunity to work and live in the US. Many aspiring candidates from around the world aim to get a sponsor for their visas. Some key requirements need to be fulfilled to be eligible for the H1B Visa. Below mentioned are all those details with some tips that you are likely to need to successfully file your petition.

  1. You need to have a US employer to sponsor your petition

It is necessary to have an employer with whom you have a decent employer-employee relationship which means that the employer has a right to hire you, fire you, pay you and supervise you.

They need to perform all the duties of an employer to an H1B worker. The above requirement is the first and foremost step to meeting the H1B Visa requirements.

  1. Your job should meet one of the following criteria of a specialty occupation
  • The minimum requirement is a bachelor degree or something higher that is equivalent to a bachelor degree.
  • Same goes for the employer as he needs to have a degree that is equivalent to his / her position.
  • The job should elucidate clearly that a bachelor’s degree is indispensable to be qualified for the said job without which, the person is not skilled enough to do the job.
  • A bachelor’s or higher degree is paramount going by the advancement of the job post.
  1. The position you take on should be in a specialty occupation according to your field of study
  2. At least the prevailing wage of the occupation must be paid to you

The prevailing wage is determined by your geographical location and your position in the company you are working. This database of the prevailing wage based on the work location and the job stature is maintained by the US Department of Labor (DOL).

  1. The petition for the H1B Visa must have a number at the time of filing the petition

Every H1B Visa has a numerical limit, and they are mandatory to be present at the time of filing the petition. You are exempted only if the petition is excused from numerical limits.

These are the only preliminaries that are essential to meet the H1B Visa requirements after which, you are all set to go! So go ahead and start looking for that perfect sponsor!

Top 10 H1B Sponsors

The H1B visa is a significant immigrant visa in the United States that allows companies in America to hire foreign nationals to work in their job positions. You need a sponsoring company in the USA who petitions for your H1B visa.

While many organizations post H1B jobs, there are only some companies that are the top most salary payers for H1B workers. In order get an H1B visa, it would be a good idea first to look at these companies and find out if there is an opening.

Top 10 Sponsors of H1B Visas

1. Infosys: According to the statistics, Infosys provides the highest number of sponsorship for H1B visas with an average annual salary of around 79,201 dollars.

2. Tata Consultancy Services: Next in the line comes Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) which ranks second in providing sponsorship for H1B Visas with an annual income average of around 69, 648 dollars.

3. IBM: IBM is ranked third in terms of the total number of H1B visa sponsorships. It has a slightly higher average annual income which ranges around 83,248 dollars.

4. Wipro: Another gigantic software company, Wipro ranks fourth in providing H1B sponsorships with an average annual income of 70,306 dollars

5. Accenture: Accenture is again a software company with a mean annual income of 77,953 dollars and ranks fifth in terms of its H1B Visa sponsorship.

6. Deloitte Consulting: Despite ranking sixth in the number of H1B Visa sponsorship, Deloitte Consulting ranks slightly higher than others in terms of annual salary which is 118,131 dollars.

7. HCL America: Another software company that ranks seventh in the list provides an annual salary of 82,132 dollars.

8. Tech Mahindra: Tech Mahindra being 8th on the list provides an annual salary of 75,044 dollars.

9. Microsoft: Microsoft is the highest salary provider amongst the list of top 10 H1B sponsorship providers with a yearly salary of $ 122,641.

10. IGATE Technologies: With an annual salary of 68,714 dollars, IGATE technologies rank tenth in the list of companies that provide sponsorship for H1B visas.

Any of these sponsors from the top 10 list would be ideal for the H1B Visa in the next fiscal year 2018. You can earn an excellent salary and live your dream life in the USA. Of course, first you need to meet the eligibility criteria of high skilled jobs under the H1B category visa.

5 Common H1B Myths Busted

Many people who want to work in USA on H1B visas have misconceptions about the system. Today we will bust 5 common myths that are generated around the work visa. H1B is given to foreign nationals who are meant to work in specialty occupations which require high skills and experience.

  1. Filing Petition Early in April Increases Chances of Approval

It is a misconception that many employees have before they arrive in USA. Filing early may ensure that you get into the lottery before the cap is filled up. But it does not manipulate the chances of approval in any way. It does not matter if your application reaches USCIS at the end.

  1. H1B can get Rejected if the Company is Small

This again has no real grounds. The size of companies does not change the chances of approval. Many big companies have a habit of filing too many visas and their petitions can be scrutinized thoroughly. Small companies specially IT ones have been involved in frauds in the past, so they may go through checks. But the size does not matter if your petition is authentic.

  1. H1B Premium Processing means Higher Approval Chances

The premium processing service is there only for faster approvals. Employers use it to get their H1B workers approved quickly so that they can join duties at the earliest. It does not cast any influence on approval intentions.

  1. Not Having Advanced Degree from US Hampers Approvals

If you have a MS from an US university, then it is easier for the authorities to validate your qualifications. You are also exempt from the normal cap and entered into the additional 20,000 H1B visas for US graduated candidates. Other than that it has no impact on the approval.

  1. Filing H1B Visa Petition from USA Increases Approval Rates

This has no logic behind it and is not a practical thought. The H1B visas are meant for foreign national to come into USA and work. You can file it from China or from USA, it will not affect your chances of approval. What counts are your educational qualifications and relevant experience for the jib you are applying.

 

H1B visas apply to individuals when you are sponsored by a company in America to work with them as a foreign national. Therefore, it is important that you have a secure job to continue working in America on an H1B Visa.

But at times things go wrong, and you are faced with an unexpected event!

The Unfortunate H1B Layoff

You must remember that due to the economic crisis, it is possible to get laid off from your job. There have been reports of many H1B workers getting fired by their sponsoring companies.

So instead of panicking, all you need to do is be aware of the legal terms and conditions and look for a new job as soon as you can.

5 Reasons Donald Trump Isn’t A Threat to H1B Visas

On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was voted the 45th President of the United States of America.
Amidst campaign slogans to “Make America Great Again,” Trump stated in campaigns how he planned to shake the tech industry, stop H1B visas, and prevent job outsourcing.

However, following his victory, Trump was seen retracing some of his previous promises. The scenario leads to a possibility of a different view on the earlier plans, and a bright future for the tech industry under a Trump presidency.

In an era known as the “Tech Age,” Trump will soon face the harsh reality that he cannot “Make America Great Again” without some help from the techies.

And where does America get most of its high-skilled tech resources?

It’s by hiring foreign nationals through the H1B visa. It is awarded to qualified candidates who work in specialty occupations under American companies.

Here’s a look at why the tech industry shouldn’t be worried of a Trumpocalypse.

Important points to consider

1. A Need for Skilled Workers– the decision to stop issuing H1B visas will prove to be more of a loss than gain. Large scale companies rely on skilled workers educated in STEM, who are most often immigrants. Denying them an H1B visa would mean narrowing down the availability of high-skilled workers.

2. Bringing Back Outsourced Jobs is not easy– even Trump cannot keep track of all the jobs currently being outsourced by numerous companies. To stop further outsourcing, companies such as Apple would have to shift entire work base to the country. It results in higher costs. It would also lead to a reduction in sales in other nations, something large scale companies would not want.

3. Strategic Ties– given history between Pakistan and USA, maintaining international relationships with countries like India, China is a necessity for the United States. Additionally, a 300 billion dollar trade deficit with China will prove to be a larger threat to the US economy than H1B visas issued to Indians.

4. The predominance of non-Americans in Tech Industries– with Google, NetApp, Microsoft and Adobe among others thriving under Indian CEOs, it will prove difficult for Trump to follow through with his claims of keeping all jobs for the Americans.

5. Trump Is a Businessman– once a businessman, always a businessman. Donald Trump already has a Trump Tower built in India and other countries. Given his businessman blood, souring ties with abolishing H1B visas would not be on the top of Trump’s list.

Only time will decide whether Trump is a boon or a curse! Until then, all you techies can heave a sigh of relief knowing your jobs are safe and the country is open to H1B candidates.

What to do after H1B layoff?


In the case of a layoff during your H1B visa, the safest and the most secure way to move forward is to get another job. After getting another job, your new employer has to file for the H1B visa on your behalf so that you can start working with them.

Look for a Change of Status

If you want to find a new job, it is always better to change your status from H1B to a visitor on B2 visa or B1 visa for business. This can always be changed back to an H1B visa once your new employer files a petition for you.

Check Your I-797

As long as your I-797 is within the validity, all you need to do is get the visa status changed to B1 and B2 while you look for another job.

Use Your EAD to Work

Additionally, you can also use Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and start working with your new employer right away while you wait for your H1B visa. This is also completely legal.

H1B Visa is More a Political Issue Now Than An Economic One: V Balakrishnan

The first thing to do after getting laid off is to look for a new job. It will take a few months for USCIS to update your out of status position so you can utilize the time.

The former CFO of Infosys, V Balakrishnan recently stated in an interview that the H1B Visa is now more of a political issue than an economic one. There has been much noise about the H1B skilled workers Visa in the November elections of the US this year. He further went on to say that it is a major relief for IT companies since the H1B Visa bill is being deferred or taken up for discussion because the uncertainty in the Indian IT industry is eliminated now.

The former CFO vehemently affirmed that there is a major lack of talent in the US and the talent in the large US corporates primarily comes from countries like India because of which there is a dire need for the US conglomerates to get more H1B Visas and because of the election year that takes place every 4 years, a lot of attention is given to the H1B Visas. He clearly says that the US corporates need talent and so they need more H1B Visas in the country.

Balakrishnan goes on to say that the US is a very “open” society and a magnet for awesome talent to work there from around the world. He plainly states that the US will not pass stupid bills because it realizes that they need talent that can only come from countries like India for which they absolutely need the H1B Visa. He asserts that cost is not a big deal for them because when push comes to shove, they know what they need and they need the H1B Visas to function. Without these H1B Visas, the economic state of the US and the corporates will see a major decline in the economy and will ultimately perish because there will be no talent.

The interview concludes by Balakrishnan reasserting the point that he has said throughout the interview that as long as there is a necessity of talent in the US Corporates, the H1B Visas are going to be indispensable. The next years’ H1B vacancies are already getting filled up, and if one has to look towards working in the States, they have to be one among the 85,000 vacancies available every year.

 

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