H-1B Applications Drop Amid Uncertainty, Lottery Held To Select Winners

While it is obviously essential to prevent abuse and USA worker displacement through the H-1B visa program, the suggestion that a few highly publicized examples equate to a "much-abused" program is unfounded.

"Top recipients of the H-1B visa are companies like Tata, Infosys, Cognizant - they will apply for a very large number of visas, more than they get, by putting extra tickets in the lottery raffle, if you will, and then they'll get the lion's share of visas", a senior USA administration official said.

"Certain global travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel".

The start of H-1B season was met with pointed reminders from the government that it is paying close attention to the visa. This has been announced amid a move to tighten rules that allow skilled workers, especially from India, to seek employment in the United States. And the Justice Department issued a press release "cautioning" employers petitioning for H-1B visas to not discriminate against American workers.

Applications for H-1B work visas saw a decline for the first time since 2014, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Man accused of Facebook video killing said he 'just snapped'
The police chief said: "We are not going to pinpoint a specific thing and say this is what triggered this, because we don't know". The behavioral health agency where he worked said an extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome.

What if they leave the job or the job is discontinued?

Infosys Ltd., one of the heaviest users of the H-1B program, has said that it's looking for other ways to hire given the changing atmosphere. If they can do neither, they must leave the United States.

Chirag Patel, an immigration lawyer who was taken aback by the new numbers, attributed them to "the lack of premium processing...or maybe a hiring shift to more U.S. citizens or permanent resident| workers due to Trump being President".

Just 85,000 H-1B visas (20,000 of which are reserved for master's degree holders) are granted annually, but the past few years have seen swelling demand. Because the visas are granted via a random lottery, many companies apply for far more than they actually plan on using.

How will the process change after today? The vast majority of applications are for programmer, software engineer, developer or analyst positions, and the average salaries for those visas tend to be much higher than the median American salary.

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