Published April 13, 2015


For the past few years, come April 1, tens of thousands of employers and prospective employees vie for one of 85,000 H-1B work visas made available for highly skilled or professional workers for the ensuing fiscal year, starting October 1.   It used to be a 1 in 2 chance an H-1B petition will be picked for consideration, given that each year the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/CIS) receives around 170,000 or so petitions, and with only 85,000 visas to distribute.     Not surprisingly, given our relatively robust economy, and the global perspective that the U.S. continues to be one the best places in the world to work, just this month DHS/CIS received more than 233,000 petitions – leading to filers now having only a 1 in 3 chance at the visa.  

Pending applicants will be notified in the coming weeks whether they were lucky enough to have been picked for consideration, with two thirds of the petitions and accompanying filing fees being returned to the filing parties.

What does this all mean?    The U.S. is for certain turning away many ready, willing and talented workers from around the world, and that important jobs with U.S. employers are not being appropriately filled.    Legislation to expand the supply of H-1B visas back to 195,000 is pending in Congress, but until such time Congress acts,  thousands of  U.S. employers and prospective foreign workers will remain hungry for each other.

PUBLISHED April 13, 2015– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2015, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois