Apr 14

HB-1 Visa cap reached in days

HB-1 work visas are among the most sought after visas the U.S provides, especially for IT professionals. On 1 April the US Citizenship and Immigration Services began to accept applications for this coveted doorway to high paying jobs in the U.S. On April 5 the government announced that the Congress mandated cap of 65,000 had been reached, revealing the fierce competition for the prize.

“I’m really glad I hired an attorney to handle my submission,” said Adit Singh, one of the many hopefuls. “One mistake can nullify the entire application.” While rejected applicants receive their application fees back, this is a small consolation for those who have a lot staked on receiving the visa, because it can open a lot of doors career-wise, and many visa holders eventually apply for residence here, as well.

The HB-1 is popular with employers as well. While foreign workers usually make much better pay than they would make in their home countries, they are paid at a fraction of the cost of a citizen. Indeed there has been a modest backlash against hiring HB-1 holders, given that so many citizens are out of work. Congress has responded to this by setting a cap of 65,000, which means applicants need to make sure that their applications are done properly.

Applicants are drawn from the pool by a random selection process, which is in fact a computer-generated lottery. Before announcing the lucky winners, USCIS must first finalize the intake process of the applications they have received. No date has been set for the announcement of those who will be granted visas.

HB-1 visas are set to take effect for the fiscal year starting on October 1, 2014.