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Employment immigration: H-1B visa application numbers drop

When California companies need new employees with certain skill sets, they may feel that they cannot find the proper candidates domestically. As a result, they may consider applicants from other countries. Of course, employment immigration is complicated, and working to obtain the proper work visas for potential employees is no easy or guaranteed feat.

It was recently reported that the number of applications for H-1B work visas dropped to 190,098 from the 199,000 that came in last year. This number still greatly exceeds the number of visas available, which totals only 85,000. In order for employers to obtain these visas, applications must be submitted and then a lottery drawing determines which companies will be awarded the visas. A computer program conducts the drawings.

Typically, it is technology-related companies that vie for these visas the most. In fact, the tech industry hopes that Congress will, at some point, increase the number of H-1B visas available. It was also reported that foreign-born workers make up the majority of the tech employees in Silicon Valley. Apparently, companies are most often looking to obtain workers from India.

Because employment immigration can be difficult to understand and employers face many hurdles, it can be hard for companies to obtain the workers they desire. Of course, employers may be able to take certain action to help ensure that they properly complete their applications for H-1B work visas and to ensure that they are following the law. In order to better understand how to go about working toward obtaining such visas, interested California employers may wish to consult with their legal counsel.

Source: northbaybusinessjournal.com, "H-1B applications fall for second year in a row", Ethan Baron, April 13, 2018

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