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Three Things to Know … H-1B Visas

The most innovative and cutting edge firms seek the world’s highest skilled professionals through H-1B visas. Yet, obtaining the H-1B visa has become unnecessarily lengthy and difficult. Here are three things you should know about H-1B visas.

1. H-1B visas foster higher wages for everyone.

Wages in 219 cities have gone up due to an increase in the number of H-1B visas, according to the American Immigration Council. From 1990 to 2010, a 1 percent increase in STEM oriented H-1B visa holders in a city, correlated to a 7-8% increase in wages for both STEM and Non-STEM native born workers. This stunning statistic rejects claims that foreign H-1B visas lower the wages of native-born Americans.

2. The top ten sponsors of H-1B visas

To obtain an H-1B visa, an employer has to sponsor the applicant. The employer petitions the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of the employee. Reflecting the shifting demand for talent in STEM fields, most of the top companies sponsoring H-1B visas are in tech or consulting industries. These top ten companies include: Amazon, Infosys,  Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions US, Microsoft, Google, Capgemini, HCL America, IBM, and Facebook. Other companies like Intel or Apple are close behind.

3. The limits on obtaining H-1B visas

There are three possible steps in which an H-1B visa can be rejected. The first is in the filing of the Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor. The second is when the employer files an I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Finally, rejection may occur in the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Process with the Department of State. According to the National Foundation for American Policy, “over 72% of H-1B registrations for high skilled foreign nationals were rejected even before an adjudicator evaluated the application”. 

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