What Is H-1B Visa? 10 Points You Need To Know

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What Is H-1B Visa? 10 Points You Need To Know

H-1B visa is employment-based and helps US companies to hire foreign workers in high-skilled jobs

Proposed changes to the rules for H-1B visas for foreign workers in the US, which will impact Indian outsourcing firms like Infosys, Wipro and TCS, are being considered by American lawmakers. A bill introduced in the US House of Representatives calls for doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders, making it harder for companies to hire foreign workers instead of Americans. US President Donald Trump is also considering an executive order to make it tougher for foreign workers to get H-1B visas.
Here are 10 facts about the H-1B visa
  1. The H-1B visa is employment-based and helps US companies to hire foreign workers for high-skilled jobs.
  2. An employer must offer the job and apply to the US immigration department for the H-1B visa on behalf of the candidate.
  3. The programme was launched in 1990 by then President George Bush.
  4. It was intended to help American firms deal with labour shortages in rapidly growing jobs that require specialised skills, such as in software programming, research and engineering.
  5. The company that wants to hire the candidate foots the bill.
  6. An H-1B visa holder can stay for three to six years, seek permanent residency in the US and can buy or sell property.
  7. The H-1B visa cap is currently 65,000, and an additional 20,000 visas are granted to employees with master's degrees from American universities.
  8. If the number of applications is more than the set limit, the government conducts a "lottery" to decide who gets to stay.
  9. Every year, 6,800 visas are reserved for workers from Chile and Singapore in keeping with their free trade agreements with the US.
  10. Last year, the US received over 200,000 petitions for H-1B visas.

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