H-1B Visa: 10 Facts Revealed by USCIS Data
The H-1B visa in the United States falls under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(17)(H). H-1B specialty occupations may include fields such as science, engineering and information technology.
New Delhi, August 21: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the US government agency recently released data on the usage of H-1B visas. The data reveals that a majority of H-1B visa petitions have been filed by Indians this year followed by China, Canada, and South Korea. The H-1B program in the United States of America allows companies in the country to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. The H-1B visa in the United States falls under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(17)(H) and the specialty occupations under it may include fields such as science, engineering and information technology.
What is H1B petition and H1B Cap?
H1B is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa category for temporary workers to America. H1b is an employer-sponsored visa category i.e. an employer must offer a job and apply for your H1 visa petition with US immigration department. Every year there is an annual Quota of ‘new’ H1B visas that can be issued. The process is also called as the H1B Cap. The total H1B quota allocation is divided between the Regular H1B Cap and the ADE H1B Cap.
Here’s what the USCIS data reveals:
- As per reports, there were over 2, 47,000 petitions from Indians in 2017, down from over 3,00,000 in the previous year. It has to be noted that China is second after India with 296,313 H-1B applications received between 2007 and 2017.
- The US government received over 3,36,000 petitions for H-1B visas in 2017 out of which it which approved about 1,97,129 visas that included both extensions and new applications. Trends reveal that in 2016, the government got a total of 399,349 visa petitions.
- The USCIS data informs that a majority of H-1B visa beneficiaries in the last 11 years (2007-2017) were in the age group of 25-34 years.
- The report further mentioned that majority of the beneficiary of H-1B visas are from the computer-related occupations that include fields like science, engineering and information technology.
- More beneficiary of H-1B visas apart from computer-related occupations are followed by architecture, engineering and surveying (318,670); education (244,000); administrative specializations (245,000) and medicine and health (185,000).
- Over 58% of the applications received have been approved by the US government which is lower than that of the year 2016, when it stood at 87%.
- Starting July 24, 2017, USCIS will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. As announced previously, the premium processing resumed on June 26 for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program as well as interested government agency waivers. Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions.
- USCIS has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2018 and have received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.
- The USCIS data reveals that the average compensation of H-1B visa holders up to June 2017 stood at $92,317 (per annum) which has increased since 2007.
- The USCIS data reveals that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements. Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.
Indians continue to have a major share of aspirants for H-1B visa with a total of 2.47 lakh applications in the first nine months of the current US financial year which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. As per reports, about 3 lakh applications were submitted by Indians for the financial year 2015-2016.Read more ↓
In April this year, the United States alleged that Indian IT companies were unfairly cornering the major share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system, which the current US administration wants to replace with a more merit-linked immigration policy. The vexed issue of the Donald Trump administration mulling curbs in H-1B visas was taken up with by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. During his meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Jaitley highlighted the contribution which Indian companies and professionals are making to US economy. “The top recipients of the H-1B visa are companies like Tata, Infosys, Cognizant- they will apply for a very large number of visas, more than they get, by putting extra tickets in the lottery raffle, if you will, and then they’ll get the lion’s share of visas,” a senior US official said at a White House briefing last week, according to transcripts posted on the White House website.
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