H-1B Visas for Tech Workers

How many H-1B visas are given to foreign tech workers each year?

H-1B work visas allow foreign nationals to come to the United States to work in a specialty field.  Some of the most sought after H-1B visas are in the technology industry.  Foreign workers comprise over 57 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workers in tech hub Silicon Valley, according to recent census data.  Most major tech companies across America rely heavily on innovative employees born outside of the United States. Under the Trump administration, however, regulations may be tightened on H-1B tech workers.

Eligibility for H-1B Visas

The H-1B visa program was created to allow American companies to recruit skilled workers overseas.  To be eligible to receive a H-1B visa, you will need an employer sponsor. Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft sponsor numerous foreign workers each year. You must demonstrate that you are educated in your tech field, which could include having a US bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university, or a foreign equivalent.  Your employer will need to show that they are not displacing an American employee by hiring from abroad.

The number of H-1B visas allotted is capped at 65,000 each year, with an additional 20,000 available for specialty workers with advanced degrees from US institutions. The USCIS holds a lottery to determine who will receive an H-1B visa each year and applications usually far exceed the cap.

Changes to Come for H-1B Tech Workers

President Trump has vowed to alter the H-1B visa program, particularly in tech industries, to leave more jobs to American workers.  Trump has called for the H-1B program to tighten, allowing only the highest paid and highest skilled workers to receive visas. He has additionally urged elimination of the current lottery system.  In October, the USCIS announced that there would be increased scrutiny of visa extension applications. In December, Trump repealed a law that allowed the spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States.  Given the changing laws, tech workers that live abroad and wish to come to the US should consult with an immigration lawyer for assistance.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107).  You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.