Science, technology, engineering, and math industries are growing in the United States faster than the US workforce can handle. Silicon Valley is built on US companies bringing the brightest minds from all over the country and all over the world into innovative development environments to keep US companies on the cutting edge of technological advancement. However, the US education system is notoriously bad at teaching advanced math and science skills which has led to the need to bring over more employees from countries that have stronger STEM education programs. Jobs that require highly specialized, advanced skills are being created faster than companies can hire US-born workers to fill them, and without employees to work these jobs, the teams that assemble under these positions do not exist. The H-1B visa program has been the solution to bring over highly skilled workers in STEM industries to keep US companies competitive, and to keep wages and salaries high for both US-born and non-US born STEM industry workers.
For these reasons, most STEM companies in the United States that have the resources to sponsor H-1B visas do. This can cost a company anywhere from $2,500 to 10,000 in legal fees and USCIS fees per H-1B employee. While this cost may sound substantial, it is actually a great investment in a company’s future and is even reasonable on paper when viewed in relation to the salaries of H-1B workers. H-1B visa holders can stay on to work with a company for up to six years, and since this is a visa of dual intent, the employer may decide to sponsor the employee for their Green Card down the road. This is an investment in the expansion of a company, as well as a way for the team to build an international perspective into the framework of how they do business. Money is not the issue that stands in the way. Viable companies budget for investment potential as a business strategy. The issue tends to be time.
Preparing an H-1B visa petition can take up the better part of a year. It does not have to, but it’s always a good idea to start making hiring decisions early on for companies looking to sponsor H-1B employees. If your company or your client’s company is ready to sponsor H-1B employees for the fiscal year of 2017, all petitions need to be submitted to USCIS on April 1st of 2016. That’s just under four months away. While the technical deadline for H-1B visa petitions is October 1st, there are only 65,000 annual H-1B visas available and literally hundreds of thousands of H-1B candidates applying for them. There is no annual cap for H-1B jobs in the non-profit sector or for government-funded research foundations, but these kinds of jobs do not cover the needs of the private STEM industry companies that need H-1B employees the most. Even companies like Microsoft tend to only get around half of the H-1B visas they petition for. If your company or your client’s company wants H-1B visa workers for 2017, it’s time to get those petitions ready.
At TheDegreePeople.com, we understand that preparing a petition takes time and can become very stressful. Having an advanced degree from a country outside of the United States – particularly from countries like India that have three-year bachelor’s degrees instead of four-year degrees – can cause trouble. If your employee or client has a degree specialized in a field related to but not exactly matching their field of employ, this can also cause trouble. There are many reasons your client or employee’s education can cause confusion when their petition is filed. Everything from mistranslations to confusion about credit hours can trigger an RFE or a Denial for an over-qualified, clearly adept H-1B visa candidate. Making sure your client or employee submits an accurate credential evaluation that meets the requirements of his or her H-1B visa along with the rest of the petition on April 1st is an essential way to save you time NOW and save you more time LATER. Don’t wait for an RFE, Denial, or NOID to address your client or employee’s education. We offer a variety of low-cost rush delivery options for the last minute, no-cost consultations on your situation, and we can address your complicated cases quickly and successfully.
About the Author
Sheila Danzig is the Executive Director of TheDegreePeople.com a Foreign Credentials Evaluation Agency. For a no charge analysis of any difficult case, RFE, Denial, or NOID, please go to http://www.ccifree.com/?CodeBLG/ or call 800.771.4723.
This article was written by Rebecca Little