USCIS completes the H-1B quota lottery selection for fiscal year 2019
Pasricha & Patel
Just like recent years, the annual H-1B quota filing period opened and closed in just five (5) business days in the first week of April. This year more than 190,000 H-1B cases were received by the USCIS. That far exceeds the annual quota of 65,000 regular H-1B petitions, with an additional 20,000 reserved for U.S. Master’s or above degree holders. With the general U.S. economy showing consistent growth, and with the need for qualified workers continuing to grow, it is unfortunate that some of the most qualified workers who wish to contribute to the U.S. workforce are faced with the fact that their fates are determined by a random lottery drawing.
Many of the H1B candidates – and in particular those candidates who received their higher education in the U.S. and whose cases were not picked in the lottery – now have no choice but to seek opportunities outside the U.S. And that represents genuine loss of valuable resources in knowledge and technical know-how that the U.S. can ill afford to lose in a competitive globalized economy that we have today. The need for immigration reform is greater than ever. But until meaningful immigration reform can move forward and that can take into account the real needs of the U.S. workforce and the evolving global economy that we are all a part of, we must do the best we can to advise and assist our clients with meaningful options besides the H-1B visa path.
For those who may wish to consider alternatives to the H-1B visa program, there are various visa program possibilities, subject to conditions and pre-requisites, such as the L-1 intracompany transfer visa; the E-1 treaty trader/E-2 treaty investor visa; the E-3 Australian nationals visa; the TN visa, for example, that a foreign national may wish to consider.