H1-B Visa Applications for 2019 Expected to be High Despite Restrictions

After the furor surrounding immigration and the subsequent whiplash to the H1B, non-immigrant work visas in year 2017, there were a lot of repercussions, especially towards how the visa holders were treated, their subsequent reactions and the obvious fall out among the foreign governments who were going to be most affected by these new potential upheavals. However, one anticipated fallout that is NOT expected this year is the reduction in the total number of applicants for the H1B work visas for the cap for year 2019.

Volume is expected to be high again this year, just like it has been in the past two seasons. While 2017 saw more than 199,000 applications, the previous year saw 236,000 H1B applications. This is for an annual cap of 65,000 in total. The main reason still continues to be skills shortage among the locals, a strong US economy and low unemployment rates. While big outsourcing companies like Wipro, Infosys and Oracle who are still the main suppliers of these H1B workers, have reacted to the changing environment and begun opening local offices within the US and recruit domestically, it is interesting to note that the trend of huge number of applications will continue to surge this year as well.

According to a few visa processing attorneys the nation’s robust job market can make it tough to find enough American workers to fill many roles that require special skills. That means many companies could be clamoring for H-1B visas again this year.

Another reason cited for the anticipated large numbers is the restrictions initiated by the Trump administration. While the Trump government has emphasized on Buy American, Hire American and imposed many changes that may adversely affect foreign immigrants, these are only proposals and are yet to be passed by the Congress and put into effect. Ironically, the knee-jerk reaction to this is a bigger number of people trying to get in instead of backing down.

Silicon Valley in California alone has 71% of foreign workers. They support the US tech industry and these numbers are expected to continue rising this year as well. On April 2, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting applications for H-1B visas. The cap of 85,000 is expected to fill up within the first couple of days. If you, as a potential applicant or as an employer are skilled and proficient in English and are looking to win the computer-generated H1B lottery for your employees to begin working in the US by October, you should begin the H1-B application process right away so as to meet the deadline of April 2, 2018.