The Immigration Practice Group is recovering from a crushing push made on behalf of its corporate clients for the April 1, 2014, opening by USCIS of H-1B visa petitions for professionals seeking to work in the U.S. in FY 2015, including software engineers, marketing specialists, and burgeoning entrepreneurs.
The law currently allows only 65,000 visas for new hires, with 20,000 additional visas for foreign national professionals who graduate with a Master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university.
At a time when the economy is on track towards recovery, it is no wonder that this year USCIS reported a record 172,500 petitions filed during the first week, more than double the number of visas available and the highest number if H-1B Petitions filed — ever. As a result, USCIS has turned once again to its computer generated lottery, meaning Petitioners and Beneficiaries, no matter the merits of their case, have been relegated to a luck-of-the-draw system with a 50% chance of selection at best.
The talent a U.S. company seeks or the promise of job creation from foreign entrepreneurs is essentially put on hold while they wait, or ultimately rejected. It makes no sense. And while segments in both Houses of Congress refuse, at all cost, to lift an antiquated immigration system, the possibility for meaningful, constructive change remains an ongoing challenge.