work visas

What is Different about the FY2020 H-1B Lottery Beginning April 1st?

This year, there have been some changes made to the H-1B lottery process and to approval adjudication. 

As in years previous, 65,000 H-1B visas are available for beneficiaries with US Bachelor degrees or higher or their equivalent, and 20,000 H-1B visas are allotted for beneficiaries with advanced degrees of US Master degree or higher.  What is different about this year is that in previous years the 20,000 advanced degree visas are selected in the first lottery, and then the visas left over are thrown in with the second general lottery for the remaining 65,000 visas.  This year, the general lottery will happen first.  Then, the remaining petitions for beneficiaries with advanced degrees will enter into the lottery for the additional 20,000 visas.  This is good news for advanced degree holders.

The second difference is that this year USCIS adjudicators have the authority to deny H-1B visas outright without first issuing an RFE to give petitioners a chance to defend and strengthen their cases. 

It is estimated that there will be about 150,000 H-1B visa petitions submitted the first week of April for cap-subject H-1B visas for FY2020.  Last year, the approval rate for H-1B candidates selected in the lottery was 60%, a rate that has been declining since 2016.  Along with this, the approval rate for cases that received an RFE dropped from 83.2% in 2015 to just 62.3% in 2018 with a massive spike in the overall rate of RFE responses from USCIS.

At CCI, over 90% of our clients who came to us with H-1B RFEs succeeded in getting their RFEs overturned and their visas approved.  We work with difficult cases every year, and this year we urge you to anticipate any RFEs you, or your client or employee’s case is likely to run into BEFORE you file.  This means additional documentation, expert opinion letters from the RIGHT kind of expert, and credential evaluations must be submitted with the initial filing. 

For a free review of your case, visit  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.


Which Companies Are Surviving the Recession?

work visas (H1B). It’s usually a busy time for immigration attorneys and many companies who sponsor persons with foreign degrees to work in the U.S. on temporary visas. The global recession, however, has given people cause to wonder just how this will affect employment based visas. The answer is – yes, there is a slow down here to. Many companies are cautious about determining how many H1B to sponsor this year.  Last year there were 3 filings for each available visa. The cap filled virtually the day filings began, and many firms did not get all the employees they needed.  This year things look different. H1B jobs are only available when no US residents can fill the job.  Most of the jobs are high tech IT jobs where there is still a big demand and limited supply of talented workers. But there is a misunderstanding in the country that these foreign workers are taking jobs from Americans. While this is not the case, firms are feeling uncomfortable hiring non-US workers. Despite this slowdown, the professionals at Career Consulting International (CCI) have stopped wondering how their business will go this “season”. The busy season which normally starts in mid-March, was off to an early start. Apparently, while the total pool of applicants maybe smaller this year, CCI is getting a bigger share of that pool. CCI’s Executive Director Sheila Danzig released a statement to her employees the revenues for the last week in February was up 58 percent compared to the same time period in February 2008. CCI, found on the Internet at ““, specializes in evaluating foreign degrees and diplomas for their U.S.equivalencies. People who attend high school or college in other countries are usually required by universities and employers to have their degree evaluated for the U.S. educational equivalency by a professional evaluation agency. Rush fees often account for a substantial part of the visa season’s profit, but the opening filing date is weeks away, so most clients appear to be getting their orders in well in advance, to save on rush fees in late March and early April. OneHR executive explained, “Why should I wait longer so I can pay more money later?” When asked about the number of larger clients (corporations, IT firms, and attorneys with large numbers of H1B visas to process), Director of Operations Marian Aronson-Finnk offered a glimpse at the busyness unfolding in her work week: “I am not surprised by the number of bulk applications we have processed as of this date,” she shared. “We have built many relationships over the years. Our clients return to us for our personal service, fast turn-around time and lowest-price-guarantee policy.” CCI believes that is the reason the recession has not caught up with them yet. Customer service liaison Jim Howell was asked whether he’s overwhelmed yet by the number of calls coming in. Howell just smiled and responded, “Our team’s job is to help people and give them the best support and advice possible, one at a time, and that’s what we are continuing to do.  Our trained, experienced support staff is ready to help.” For more information about Career Consulting International’s bulk application prices, visit  “” or call the toll-free number at 1.800.771.4723. Someone from the agency is always near the phone, eager and willing to help.]]>

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