Published April 10, 2018

For the 6th year in a row, during the first week of the filing season U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) received more than enough H-1B visa petitions to exhaust the coming fiscal year’s annual supply of 85,000 visas.

By way of the H-1B visa program, U.S. companies have an avenue to recruit and employ foreign professionals and skilled workers in a wide variety of fields and industries, ranging from technology, healthcare, medicine, engineering and business.  Combining a low U.S. unemployment rate, a limited annual supply of visas, and a highly attractive pool of prospective foreign workers, including recent international student graduates of U.S. university programs, H-1B visas have become increasingly more difficult to obtain.

Notwithstanding these factors, the current administration, under the guise of protecting American workers, has made the process of getting a petition approved substantively more difficult, with the implementation of unprecedented, heightened adjudication standards and policies.  On the other side of the coin, some legislators, including prominent Republicans, have introduced measures to expand the yearly supply of H-1B visas, seeing that the U.S. is losing out on opportunities to attract and keep the best and brightest candidates to fill critical positions.

In the meantime, as has become an all too familiar standard operating procedure, CIS will conduct a lottery in the coming month or two to select “winning” visa petitions for consideration from the overflow amount received.   Like in years past, the volume of H-1B filings received is likely to exceed the available supply by a margin of at least 3 to 1.  Once chosen for consideration, the H-1B filing will be reviewed pursuant to the applicable statutory rules and regulations, including, as stated, new, heightened standards, adjudication policies.



PUBLISHED April 10, 2018– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2018, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois