If companies are not finding individuals with the specific skills and knowledge needed, looking beyond the United States borders is a viable approach. To hire a foreign employee, employers must apply for an H-1B sponsorship. Many U.S.-based companies have had difficulty filling their staff with qualified U.S. citizens and need to look elsewhere to fill some very specific positions.
Currently, the United States has a statutory limit of 65,000 new H-1B visas and 20,000 additional visas for foreign graduates of Masters and Doctorate programs from United States universities. While this limit has already been filled for 2018, applicants should already begin looking aggressively at 2019.
What is H-1B Sponsorship?
According to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), H-1B Visas are available to a limited number of individuals who have specialized knowledge or theoretical and practical capability in areas in which U.S. companies have a need. In areas such as science, engineering, and information technology, individuals must have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The H-1B is a temporary, non-immigrant visa classification. The duration of the visa begins at three years with an opportunity to extend for a maximum of six years.
At least for 2018, the USCIS is continuing to maintain the 65,000 regular H-1B visa quota, as well as the 20,000 H-1B advanced degree quota. Employer applications for 2018 began to be accepted on April 3, 2017, and the allotted number of employer applicants was reached within five days.
In recent years, the total number of H-1B sponsorship applications has exceeded the set limit very quickly. As a result, a computer-managed lottery system has evolved that determines which employer application will be processed.
What is the Employer Responsibility?
Employers who have a clear need to fill a particular position must comply with specific requirements. Management must ensure that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely impact the wages or working condition of their existing U.S. employees. The company management must also inform their current workforce in advance that they intend to hire an H-1B worker. More detailed information is available from related websites.
How Do Qualified Candidates Find H1B Sponsorship?
The H-1B Visa process requires each candidate employer to designate the individual(s) whom they will be hiring. Therefore, companies with a recognized need will begin seeking out individuals who can best fulfill their requirements for the visa.
If you are hoping to find work in the United States that matches your skills, you should begin the process now.
Resources that may be helpful for locating companies that where you may be a viable candidate are:
- H-1B Sponsors Database: A web search for current H-1B Visa Sponsors can yield accurate lists of interested companies.
- Internships: If you are currently in the United States as a student with an F1 visa, applying for an internship can be an excellent way to get your foot in the door of a potential employer. Companies often choose to hire interns whose skills are already proven.
- Major IT Consulting Companies: These companies are in touch with and often collaborate with high-tech employers. Sometimes their main mission is to search out and recommend high-quality employees to fill H-1B visas.
- Global System Integrators: These genuinely global companies bring together subsystems from various sources to create a final product. In these enterprises, individuals who excel in their positions may be transferred to a U.S-based location under an H-1B Visa.
- U.S. Universities: Working in research at a U.S. university in an F1 or H4 status (H-1B dependent visa) can be a springboard to a future job with a U.S. company with an H-1B opening.
According to an American Immigration Council study, demand is not limited to simply high-tech individuals, as many believe. Highly skilled individuals also play a critical role in U.S. industry. In fact, according to the same article, in 2010-11, 150 different metropolitan areas had 250 requests for skilled foreign labor. Most of these H-1B applications were for individuals who would help grow innovative businesses in areas not directly related to science and technology. While nearly two-thirds of H-1B applications are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related, companies from other industries who apply are leaders in business and finance, healthcare, and bioscience.
Contact Davis & Associates
Employers looking for help with applying for H-1B sponsorship should consult with Davis & Associates in Dallas for information and assistance. The process can be complicated, so professional and knowledgeable support can make a difference.
Call Davis & Associates at 214.628.9888.
About Davis & Associates:
Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, McKinney and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.