Wall Street Journal
By Corinne Abrams
March 17, 2016
The H-1B working visas that allow U.S. companies to employ skilled foreign workers have been the subject of discussion in the U.S. presidential election. But despite the debate, it is time again for U.S. companies to get ready to apply for the coders, engineers and other workers with special skills that they need to bring over.
The U.S. will start accepting applications for its H-1B visas for the coming fiscal year on April 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Wednesday.
U.S. businesses use the visa program to employ foreign workers in sectors like science, engineering and computer programming.
Some U.S. politicians say that the visas are used to hire cheap labor, taking work from American workers. Most economists and executives say the visas help the U.S. fill a skills gap.
Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the Republican presidential nominee race, earlier this month changed his stance on the H-1B permit, and then changed it back again.
[wsj-more-in tag=”H-1B VISA“]
Mr. Trump appeared to speak out in favor of the visas, reversing a previous stance, before later issuing a statement backtracking on his comments.
“The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay,” he said in the statement.
The USCIS said the cap for the number of H-1B visas it can issue for the next fiscal year is 65,000, and said it expects to receive more than that number of applications in the first five days of the program. The first 20,000 applications filed for workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap.
If the service receives an “excess of petitions” in those first five days, it will use a lottery system to select the number of applications to meet the cap.
The service said it would start dealing with H-1B petitions that asked for premium processing May 16.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com