What Are My Chances Of Getting An H1B This Year?
It is impossible to predict that. Overall, about 40-50% of H-1B petitions are selected in the lottery and about 90% of those are ultimately approved. But it will vary with your circumstances. Certain employers are cap-exempt and their petitions are not required to go through the lottery. Additionally, there are actually two separate caps, one for positions requiring a master’s or other advanced degree, and another for other H-1B positions, so there are two different lotteries.
Are There any Anticipated Changes To The H-1B Program Expected Under The Biden Administration?
In future years, the lottery may be eliminated completely and more preference given to higher-compensated positions, but the Biden Administration has delayed implementation of the proposed rule that would have done this starting in 2021.
What Are The New Important Regulations For H-1B program That Were Introduced In October 2020? (DHS-heightened requirements for employers; DOL-minimum wage to foreign workers)
The Department of Labor issued regulations increasing the “prevailing wage”, the occupation-specific minimum wage that must be paid to workers in each occupational category in order to qualify for an H-1B. It does not affect lottery H-1B in 2021 and will only affect cap-exempt petitions where the Labor Condition Application is completed after July 2, 2021. Because this regulation was created by the Trump Administration and will not take effect immediately, it is possible it will be overturned by the Biden Administration before ever taking effect. If it does become a reality, the prevailing wage for most categories will increase by about 30%. However, it may be possible to mitigate its effect by using private wage surveys with more realistic data than that provided by the government. It may also be possible to challenge the regulation successfully in court. The October version actually was overturned by the courts on procedural grounds, but was replaced by a new version in January that allegedly did not have the same procedural defects.
The Department of Homeland Security issued regulations increasing the burden on third-party placements. If you employ someone directly and they work only at your location, this will not affect you. But if an employee is working at a client site, or their work is directed by a client day-to-day, the end client is treated by the rule as an additional employer and must go through the same process as the primary employer, including filing an extra H-1B petition. This rule will go into effect 180 days from the date of publication (which was actually in January for the current version, because the October version was struck down by the courts), so it may reversed by the new President or by the courts.
What Is The H-1B Visa Category?
The H-1B is a 3-year visa (renewable up to 6 years, and sometimes longer in very limited circumstances) for “specialty occupations”, covering a wide range of jobs that typically require at least a bachelor’s degree.
What Information Do I Need To File For The H-1B Petition?
The most important information will be the employee’s educational and occupational background qualifying them for he position, as well as what the minimum qualifications and the pay rate of the job are, and proof you have recruited for US workers and been unable to find any who are qualified. Additionally, information on any criminal or immigration history of the employee is important for reviewing their eligibility.
What Are Costs Involved In Filing An H-1B Petition?
The registration fee is $10. Our fee for preliminary steps up through the registration process, including the LCA, is $1500. Expenses beyond that will only apply if the petition is selected in the lottery and will vary depending on the circumstances, but the basic filing fee is $1710-2460, with a $4000 penalty for employees who have too many H-1B or L-1 employees. Additionally, you should expect to pay for legal fees and maybe for a private wage survey depending on circumstances, and the fee for premium processing if you request it, so the total cost for most employers in the $6000-8000 range.
Is The Employer Required To Pay For Filing The H-1B Petition?
Yes. The employer must pay for all costs of the petition, including attorney’s fees.
Do Visa Caps Apply To Me?
Visa caps apply to everyone except certain nonprofit or university employers.
For more information on Getting An H-1B Visa In The Year 2021, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 297-7502 today.