For over a decade, the H-1B program has been the most popular non-immigrant visa in the US. Often the annual limit of 85,000 visas is reached within minutes of opening the lottery window to the application. Nearly 200,000 petitions were submitted in the 2019 financial year. As far as we know, this tough competition is likely to take years.
Recently, however, there have been political motives limiting the output of H-1B to those who earn a minimum salary of a certain salary. Therefore, applicants and beneficiaries of H-1B need to know how the program works and where it leads to maximize your chances of obtaining a license.
H-1B Visa Overview
The H-1B visa is a temporary non-immigration classification for foreigners living and working temporarily in the United States. It is divided into three subgroups:
- DOD researchers and development project staff
- Fashion Models
The visa application must be sponsored by a qualified organization based in the United States. This means that you must have received an offer for a job or internship in the US before you can apply.
H-1B visa salary
There is also a minimum wage for a job in status H-1B. One of the reasons the government is regularly so concerned about the H-1B visa program is to ensure that both employees and employers are treated fairly in terms of pay and compensation.
US employers recruiting H-1B workers must submit documentation from the Department of Labor (DOL) stating that they are able and willing to pay their current or actual salary.
Note that this does not mean that all H-1B employee salaries are consistent. This means that an employer will not be able to pay you for a certain amount, depending mainly on your place of employment, your industry and your job title.
What is the difference between the prevailing and the actual wage?
There are on the US labor market different types of wageswhich include the minimum wage, the living wage, the prevailing wage and the actual wage. Salaries are categorized according to these conditions to ensure that no employee receives less than what is considered appropriate. Your H-1B visage is determined based on the current or actual salary.
How is the relevant salary of H-1B determined?
The predominant reward, after the DOLis "the average salary paid to similarly employed employees in a given occupation in the area of intended employment". This can be determined by the collective agreement which contains the wage rates applicable to the profession. In a profession that is not covered by a trade union agreement, the weighted average of salaries paid to other employers in similar employment at the geographical location may be used to determine the applicable wage.
How is the actual H-1B wage determined?
The actual wageAccording to the definition of the US DOL, this is "the wage rate that an employer pays to people with experience and qualifications that are similar to the qualifications and experience of the H-1B employee for the workplace in the workplace." The actual salary can sometimes It is very difficult to determine, in particular, whether the employee is the first person hired for this job. Employers must compare the actual wage to the prevailing wage, and if lower than the prevailing wage, the prevailing wage must be paid. Remember that an H-1B worker may not be paid below the applicable salary.
Average salary for H-1B visa in 2019
One of the government's new initiatives is to provide reporting data that includes up-to-date information about the H-1B program, including a list of H-1B employers and the average salary. While payrolls vary greatly from organization to organization, The average salary for a H-1B visa according to the 2019 editionis $ 89,779. For those in the tech industry, the average salary is $ 93,244.
H-1B visa requirements
The H-1B visa is commonly referred to as a lottery because the selected petitions are randomly selected. It is also relatively easier to meet the eligibility criteria compared to some other visa types. Each year, USCIS randomly selects 85,000 H-1B applications for processing and returns the fees and applications to those whose applications have not been selected. Each candidate must meet the following criteria:
- You must have a job offer that qualifies for the USCIS definition of a trade or DOD R & D project. Prominent and outstanding models can also qualify.
- You must have at least a bachelor's degree in the department of the job, or be a model with exceptional skills and merit.
Obtaining a H-1B visa for a specialized occupation requires theoretical and practical knowledge in various fields such as IT, finance, accounting, medicine, mathematics, science, etc. The job offer must fulfill one of the following criteria in order to qualify as a specialist occupation.
- The minimum entry requirement is a bachelor's degree or equivalent. The degree must be industry-standard or required to complete the job.
- The employer normally requires at least this degree or equivalent for the job
- The nature of the tasks is so specialized that the knowledge required to complete them is usually associated with obtaining a minimum degree
H-1B Program: Possible Future
In recent years, the Trump government has issued various regulations that affect the immigration process, notably the H-1B program. With the recent events, we can predict the future requirements for the H-1B visa.
Due to recent changes, some people believe that there will be fewer H-1B petitions in the future. From our experience, however, we can predict that the demand for the program will continue to be high. Our forecast is based on several factors that influence the visa category.
In the last four years, an average of 200,000 petitions have been submitted:
- 2016: 233,000
- 2017: 236,000
- 2018: 199,000
- 2019: 190,098
- 2020: 201,011
This trend is expected to continue in the future. The healthy state of the economy will also make a huge contribution to the future of the program. With economic growth, the unemployment rate will continue to decline and there will be a shortage of available highly skilled labor.
As a result, many companies, especially in the technology industry, must rely on H-1B experts to fill positions. The increase in the number of international STEM students is another reason why demand for H-1B visas will remain high. Many of these students require a H-B visa to work in the US.
The USCIS has one last H-1B rule This will change the procedure for the lottery from the fiscal year 2021 onwards. Under the new scheme, petitioners will have to register their H-1B beneficiaries before they can hand in the full application with supporting documents. As a result, employers must submit applications before April.
Given the historical trends and changes above, competition for the H-1B visa still seems to be tough. Therefore, it is important that you proceed with your application thoroughly.
You can improve your chances by submitting petitions to various employers. While employers are not allowed to submit multiple applications for one beneficiary, the beneficiary may submit to several employers.
H-1B visa cap forecasts
The cap refers to the Congressional limit for H-1B visas issued each fiscal year. A fiscal year is the 1st of October to the 30th of September of the following year. We can assume that the annual numerical limit of 85,000 H-1B visas will remain in the next fiscal year. Currently, the annual ceiling for H-1B is 65,000 from the regular pool and 20,000 for advanced programs. However, there are certain beneficiaries excluded from the ceiling.
H-1B Employers may submit their petitions six months before the selected H-1B Appointment within the Lottery Window open in April. The H-1B is the most popular work visa for non-immigrants in the US, bringing the cap high every year at an early stage. For employers, it is best to submit their applications as soon as the lottery window opens at the beginning of the new fiscal year in October.
Who is exempt from the H-1B Visa Cap?
If your job is from a university, government research organization or non-profit organization, you are exempt from the annual ceiling. These organizations may submit their H-1B petitions at any time during the year.
However, if you plan to change a job from an employer with a waiver from the cap to an employer without a waiver of the cap, your new petition will be subject to the annual cap.
How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help
With the constant changes and contests in the H-1B program, the rejection rate is increasing. If the salary requirements for the H-1B visa change, many people may be excluded from obtaining an H-1B visa. Therefore, it is always best to stay up to date and understand the sign up process and requirements before you begin.
At Immi-USA, we have an experienced team of immigration lawyers with extensive knowledge of the H-1B application process. Our dedicated lawyers are always ready to provide you with quality legal advice and representation. From supporting evidence to handling RFEs, we help you every step of the way. You can arrange a consultation with us today by completing this contact form.
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