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The Impossible Visa: How the H-1B Visa Works Today

What does a foreign worker have to show in order to be allowed to come to the United States to work on an H-1B visa?

The distribution process of H-1B visas is very selective. H-1B applicants must be petitioned for by an employer and employed on a temporary basis of 3 years and up to 6 years. To be eligible for an H-1B visa, the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent work experience and knowledge in the field at hand. The jobs that are available for H-1B visa holders are specialty occupations such as those in engineering, mathematics, and technology. Many H-1B workers come to the United States and work on state of the art projects that can change the future of modern sectors.

Will US workers be affected by hiring an H-1B applicant?

Prior to hiring a foreign worker, the employer must ensure that their hiring of an H-1B employee will not be harming other US workers. Employers shall state on a labor condition application certified by the Department of Labor that other US employees in that company will not be affected in terms of their wages or working conditions. All employers will be instructed to disclose to their employees that they will be hiring an H-1B worker. The wage of the H-1B worker will be set by the Department of Labor. As the prices to file a petition for an H-1B worker can be costly, US workers will always be protected in the process.

How does the H-1B visa program benefit the US Economy?

The H-1B visa program is one of the only programs that allows individuals to come to the United States and work in a highly advanced and skilled sector. These H-1B workers are benefiting the US economy by providing their expertise and knowledge through innovation and entrepreneurship. The influx of entrepreneurship through these foreign workers overall creates more jobs for US workers. H-1B visa holders will become tax residents after spending at least 183 days within a year in the United States, contributing to the economy in various ways. When businesses are unable to find workers to fill certain skilled positions such as in the computer and mathematical industry, they are able to turn to foreign workers instead of moving the entire business out of the United States.

Just how many foreign born workers come to the US each year to work on an H-1B visa?

There are 65,000 H-1B visas granted per year with an extra 20,000 visas for individuals who have graduated with a Master’s or Doctorate from a US Institution. On April 1st, employers submit their petitions to USCIS and receive a number from the pool of H-1B visa numbers. This year USCIS received over 190,000 H-1B visa applications, greatly exceeding the number of visas that are available. While H-1B visas are in such high demand, many companies will be missing out on the extraordinary talent that many of these applicants obtain. If you have any questions regarding H-1B visas please contact Attorney Nicholas Mireles at

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