[SIZE=3][FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#0000CD][B][SIZE=4]Rush is on for high-skilled foreign workers[/SIZE]
[B][COLOR=#333333]OPT/CPT Blast Resume to 2500+ employers
[/B]Local immigration attorneys expect an even higher number of applicants this year for H1-B visas, with the 85,000 cap easily reached on April 1, the first day U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration is set to receive petitions for fiscal year 2016.

[COLOR=#0000cd]The visas, available to high-skilled foreign workers[/COLOR], continue to be controversial, with advocates asking the government for the cap to be relaxed while opponents say companies are exploiting the system and displacing U.S. workers.
For fiscal year 2015, which runs Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015, the federal immigration agency received about 172,500 H1-B petitions for its selection lottery, leaving more than 50 percent of applicants without a visa[/B].

[/B]“[COLOR=#0000cd]There’s a lot of thought that there’s going to be 200,000 to 300,000 applications filed this year in the first few days of April[/COLOR],” he said. “If you look at those types of numbers, your chances of even getting selected are probably 30 percent or less.”
In Arizona, from fiscal year 2011 to 2013, an average of 2,317 H-1B visas were approved each year while 675 were denied during the same period.

[/B]Overall, [COLOR=#0000cd]U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services approved 315,857 H-1B visas for fiscal year 2014[/COLOR], the latest numbers available. Although there is an 85,000 visa cap, certain organizations, including universities and nonprofits, are exempt and renewals are not affected.

The cap, [COLOR=#0000cd]originally set at 65,000 but since expanded to include 20,000 visas reserved for those with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions[/COLOR], is a relic of a different time, said local migration attorney Tarik Sultan.

“It was set back in the Immigration Act of 1990 for a very different economy,” he said. “The first five years of the H-1B cap the limit was not even reached. It wasn’t until around ’96 that we started hitting the cap every year during the dot-com boom.”

“Most of the H-1B program is now being used to import cheaper foreign guest workers, replacing American workers and undercutting their wages,” Ronil Hira, associate professor of public policy at Howard University, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

“The employer is required to pay that wage and if they don’t, the H-1B visa holder could blow the whistle on them, but doing so they’re exposing the situation and potentially jeopardizing their visa,” Goldman said. “It puts the H-1B visa holder in a very difficult and precarious position.”

“What are the employers going to do if they’re not bringing the people here? They’re going to open up a facility right outside the United States, in Canada or Mexico,” Goldman said. “This doesn’t benefit our country from an economic perspective because we’re paying the worker and we’re not seeing the tax benefit.”
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