A citizen of a foreign nation cannot simply enter the United States and obtain employment. Foreign workers must have visas to legally work in the United States. There are numerous types of visas an individual can obtain depending on the type of work they perform and their home country.
H-1B visas are visas for educated specialists entering the United States to perform specific jobs. These visas are valid for up to six years and can be obtained alongside green cards, which are often the first step toward American citizenship. Many companies in the United States, including Facebook, are “H-1B dependent,” which means that more than 15 percent of their employees rely on this type of visa. Because of the unintended consequences of this system, the federal government has taken steps to reform it.
What Are the New Visa Rules?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently suspended the expedited H-1B visa option, stating that the suspension will help it work through its current backlog of applicants. The expedited option allowed companies to have their H-1B visa applications reviewed in two weeks, rather than two to three months. According to the New York Times, individuals on H-1B visas hold 13 percent of the technology jobs in the United States. More than 300,000 applications for these visas are submitted every year and 85,000 are granted through the current lottery system. Now, all applications must wait the full length of time for review, which can impact many companies’ productivity.
Both parties currently have H-1B reform bills in Congress for consideration. The president referred to the H-1B program as a “cheap labor program” and vowed to change the law to require employers to hire American workers first.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Represent Individuals Facing Immigration Difficulties
Immigration law is a complicated area of law. Language barriers between workers, their employers, and the United States government can make it even more complicated. For help working through the legal difficulties you face, work with an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer. Fill out our online form or call 215-925-4435 to set up your initial consultation with a member of Surin & Griffin, P.C. We are located in Philadelphia and serve clients from the towns of Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Darby, Wynnewood, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, Narberth, Folcroft, Cheltenham, Clifton Heights, Lansdowne, Glenolden, Drexel Hill, Elkins Park, Havertown, Norwood, Ardmore, Holmes, Essington, Wyncote, Prospect Park, as well as Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.