Companies go through a lot to bring foreign workers to them. Not only do they have to place immigration labor ads, but they also have to fill out forms, submit them on time, all the while trying to understand everything. Now, when they want to retain those employees, one of the difficulties they have to deal with is the caps provided by the USCIS. Indeed,they may not have to go through the process of placing immigration ads, but now there is another headache to deal with.
Understanding the H-1B Cap
The number of foreign workers who have to the US via immigration ads or otherwise and are going to be issued a visa or given H-1bstatus is limited to 65,000. For those who have a master’s degree from a US university, there are 20,000 additional places. From this cap, individuals working for universities, research facilities for either the government or universities are exempt. If the cap is reached, then the processing of H-1Bapplications is paused temporarily.
The process by which individuals are randomly selected for the H-1B visa is known as the H-1B lottery. Those who have master’s degree are entered into two rounds of the lottery: the first being the one for the20,000 spots for those with master’s degrees, and if they are not selected during that process, then they go through the regular lottery for one of the65,000 places. Those who do not have a master’s degree from a US university are only entered in the regular lottery.
If the employee was not selected in the H-1B cap lottery, one of the options they have is to enroll in a Master Degree or another degree program, so that they can keep their F-1 Status and keep working at their current place, though that will only be part time. Another option they have is to leave the US for a period of 90 days after their status is completed, and after that, apply for a J-1 trainee program, which will allow them to keep their entry-level position.
Another option is for the company to look at nonimmigrant visa options, such as the O-1, for those who have advanced degrees, awards or have otherwise proved an extraordinary ability. Another option is the TN professional, if the employee is from Mexico or Canada, or anE-3 professional for those from Australia. There are also other categories one can pick from, all depending on the specific background and position of the employee.