The H-1B visa program is a vital process that allows highly skilled, specialized, academic, or otherwise gifted people to enter the United States and work here for up to three years. This period can be extended based on certain criteria and circumstances. Every year, the H-1B visa is a tough visa to acquire because there are so many more applications for the visa then there are actual visas.
The H-1B visa program has a cap of 85,000 visas per year. Of that allotment, 20,000 of them must be given to people with a master's degree. For the 2016 fiscal year, the figures were just released as to how many people applied for an H-1B visa, and the results are staggering. Roughly 233,000 people applied for the visa, meaning that only about 36 percent of them will actually receive an H-1B visa.
The visas will be decided on May 11 when a lottery determines which lucky souls acquire the visa.
Even though there have been substantial lobbying efforts on the part of the tech industry to increase the annual cap on H-1B visas, lawmakers have remained staunch in their stance. Maybe some day the cap will be increased, or some other rules or protocols will be implemented to help those who are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their family.
In the meantime, those who are considering the H-1B visa needs to consult with an attorney to make sure they are going about the process in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Source: Huffington Post, "U.S. Has Record Number Of Applications For Tech Visas," Reuters, April 14, 2015