The H-1B visa has been the most popular long-term work visa in the United States for years, and with good reason. There is a whole host of benefits that give the H-1B an edge over the other work visa categories. From its accessibility to its lengthy initial period of stay, it’s easy to see why so many foreign professionals apply to reap the H-1B visa benefits each year.
Foreign professionals are not the only ones that stand to grow from the H-1B benefits. Employers have much to gain from as well. This visa, which caters to people with educational backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM for short), allows the best of the world’s professionals to enter the U.S. and work for your company. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators
Combat Local Labor Shortages
Many employers are located in areas that have a labor shortage and may not have access to qualified U.S. workers who are willing to move permanently to your area. The H-1B process gives employers the opportunity to hire temporary professionals from overseas to complete projects or fill specialty positions.
These days, in order to compete with today’s market, you need to have a global presence. Hiring H-1B employees can strengthen your competitiveness abroad and could also provide quality permanent workers if you are willing to sponsor applicants for employment-based green cards.
Disadvantages of the H-1B
Unfortunately, the H-1B visa is not without its downsides. Work with your immigration attorney to weigh the pros and the cons of this visa class in order to determine if it is the right choice for you.
The first and greatest drawback of the H-1B visa is the fact that there is an annual limit on how many petitions are approved each year. While other visas also have a limit, they are not as easy to obtain and so that limit is rarely reached. The H-1B, on the other hand, annually receives almost three times the amount of petitions than is allotted.
Because of its popularity and the regular amount of excess petitions, the USCIS has chosen to have all petitions entered into a lottery. This is the process of randomly selecting the number of petitions allowed by the annual cap, which is 85,000.
What this means for you is that there is a strong likelihood that your petition will not be selected in any given lottery. If you are not selected, you will have to wait until the following year to petition again. For H1B Visa Evaluation Visit here
However, there are some ways to avoid the lottery process and be cap-exempt. This can be done by finding a cap-exempt employer or if you are filing for an H-1B transfer or extension.
While the H-1B has an initial period of stay that rivals other popular visas such as E-2, O-1, and TN classifications, you can only extend it once to a maximum of six years. The other aforementioned visas can be extended much longer and can sometimes be extended indefinitely.
There are some instances in which an H-1B holder could stay beyond the typical six-year limit, but these are far from the typical circumstances. To see if you could qualify for an exemption from the limit, contact your immigration attorney.
Due to the lottery process, there are strict dates that must be adhered to during the process. For example, your petition cannot be filed until April 1st. Also, if your petition is selected and approved, you cannot begin working until the 1st of October of that same year. This also limits the benefits that the premium processing service has on your case.
On the other hand, other visas allow a more fluid timeline for petitioning and starting employment.
While it is one of only two major requirements for an H-1B visa, it can also be a drawback since finding a sponsoring employer can be difficult. In contrast, the E-2 and O-1 visas do not require a job offer, so beneficiaries are able to petition on their own behalf. H-1B applicants, however, must have an employer file a petition for them.
Even though all H-1B petitioning fees must be paid by your employer, they are steep and can disincentivize employers from sponsoring you. Overall, your employer may end up paying almost $7,000 in fees for your H-1B visa. At the same time, the TN visa can cost as little as $500.