VISANOW News Release
VISANOW ADVISES EMPLOYERS TO EXPLORE H-1B ALTERNATIVES
With the 2008 H-1B cap reached in unprecedented fashion, employers still have numerous options for hiring specialized foreign workers
CHICAGO, IL April 13, 2007 – With H-1B visas being claimed faster each year, VISANOW, the industry leading immigration solution provider, encourages employers to consider a number of alternatives to hire foreign nationals with specialized knowledge and experience.
The congressionally mandated H-1B cap is 65,000 for fiscal year 2008 with an initial April 1st filing date. As of April 3, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had already received approximately 150,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions, more than double the amount available. The USCIS will perform a random selection process to determine which applications will be included in the allotted 65,000. This unprecedented filing follows last year’s record setting application period in which the cap was met in 7 weeks, far sooner than previous years.
“The allotment of H-1B visas was designed to last over an entire year and theoretically should match the level of demand for U.S. employers,” said Robert Meltzer, CEO of VISANOW. “It’s apparent that the cap on the number of H-1B visas available is significantly mismatched with the need of U.S. companies. This severe limit on employment options clearly damages the ability of U.S. companies to maintain their continued growth and competitive edge in today’s global environment.”
Just because the H-1B cap is met doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to panic. Depending on the specific situation and company, there are a number of other visa options available and many of these visas are processed significantly faster than the H-1B.
Nonimmigrant aliens who earned a Master’s degree or higher from a US institution of higher education can qualify for H-1Bs under the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004. The act implemented 20,000 additional H-1B numbers, a portion of which are still available.
There are also several other visa categories a foreign professional worker might qualify under. For example, the TN visa category was created as part of NAFTA and allows skilled Canadian and Mexican workers to take employment in the U.S. relatively quickly. A broad range of professions qualifies for the TN but most require a college degree. Another example is the L-1 visa. If a company is owned by or owns a foreign operation, employees may be brought to the U.S. on an L-1 visa, which allows managerial or executive level employees or workers with specialized knowledge to enter the U.S. to work for the affiliated U.S. company.
In addition, employers wanting to sponsor for permanent residency have further options. Since the H-1B cap has been reached for 2008, it is advisable to review your situation to see if it is subject to the cap and if any exceptions apply. If not, there may be alternative options available.
VISANOW has redefined the way immigration services are delivered with a process that consistently provides faster responses, allows greater access to information and saves time. Since 1998, VISANOW has combined superior client support and innovative technology designed to simplify the immigration process for corporations and their foreign employees.