Are you looking to work in the United States but not a citizen or permanent resident? The H1B visa is the most common visa for foreign workers seeking employment in the US. H1B visas are available to a wide variety of workers in specialty occupations, including computer programming, engineering, medicine, and finance, among others.
But with the current political climate and recent changes in the US immigration policy, the chances of getting an H1B visa have changed. In this guide, we’ll provide you with an in-depth understanding of the H1B visa process, current trends, and statistics, and what you can do to increase your chances of getting an H1B visa in 2019.
- The H1B visa is the most popular visa for foreign workers seeking employment in the US
- In 2019, the H1B visa application process has become more competitive and selective due to policy changes and increased scrutiny.
- The chances of getting H1B visa approval in 2019 are lower for entry-level and lower-paying jobs, as compared to jobs that require specialized skills and higher wages.
- Applying for an H1B visa requires a thorough understanding of the application process and requirements, as well as the ability to present your qualifications and experience in the best possible light.
H1B Visa Process
The H1B visa process consists of three steps: finding a job, obtaining approval from the Department of Labor (DOL), and filing an H1B petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Finding a Job
Before you can apply for an H1B visa, you need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor your visa. The employer must first obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor, certifying that they will pay you the prevailing wage and provide working conditions that are no less favorable than those offered to US workers.
Obtaining DOL Approval
Once your employer has obtained the LCA, they must submit it along with a completed Form I-129 to the USCIS. The USCIS will review the application to ensure that the employer and employee meet all the requirements for the H1B visa. They will also verify that the employee has the required qualifications and experience for the job.
Filing the H1B Petition
If the USCIS approves the I-129 petition, you can then apply for the H1B visa at a US consulate in your home country or change your status from another visa type if you are already in the US. The USCIS will issue the visa if they are satisfied that you meet all the requirements for the visa.
Current Trends and Statistics
The H1B visa program has undergone significant changes in recent years, including changes to the lottery system used to select applicants. The current administration has also expressed a preference for higher-skilled and higher-paying positions over entry-level and lower-paying jobs. Some key trends and statistics to keep in mind include:
- In 2018, the USCIS received 190,098 H1B visa petitions, a decrease from the previous year.
- The USCIS conducted a computer-generated lottery to select applicants for the 85,000 available visas. Almost 50% of petitions were rejected in the lottery process.
- The approval rate for H1B visas has also decreased in recent years. In 2016, the approval rate was 95.7%, but it fell to 85.4% in 2018.
Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting an H1B Visa
Given the increased competition and scrutiny, it is essential to take steps to increase your chances of getting an H1B visa. Some of these tips include:
- Apply for jobs that require specialized skills and higher wages, rather than entry-level or lower-paying positions.
- Work with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the application process and help you present your qualifications in the best possible light.
- Be prepared to provide documentation and evidence of your qualifications, experience, and work history, as well as your employer’s financial information.
- If you are currently in the US on another visa, be sure to maintain legal status and follow all visa requirements.
The chances of getting an H1B visa in 2019 are lower than in previous years due to policy changes and increased competition. However, with careful planning, preparation, and a solid application, it is still possible to obtain an H1B visa and work in the United States.
Q: How can I apply for an H1B visa?A: You need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor your visa and follow the three steps outlined in this guide: obtaining a Labor Condition Application, getting approval from the USCIS, and filing an H1B petition.
Q: What if my H1B visa application is denied?A: If your application is denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision or reapply the following year.
Q: Can I work for more than one employer on an H1B visa?A: Yes, you can work for more than one employer on an H1B visa, but each employer must file a separate H1B petition on your behalf.