Work Authorization for Non-U.S. Citizens: Workers in Professional and Specialty Occupations

U.S. businesses may use the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.
 
The number of new visas issued each year is subject to a cap. H-1B visas are capped at 65,000 during a fiscal year; an additional 20,000 visas are available to those individuals who received a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.  On September 9, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its cap count for available H-1B visas. Currently, 32,200 H-1B petitions have been received by USCIS, and 16,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees have been received.  Accordingly, the cap on H-1B visas has not yet been met for Fiscal Year 2012, and there is still time to participate in this program.
 
If your company has any questions about work authorization for non-U.S. citizen employees, call one of our immigration attorneys at Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker, LLP.
 
For further information see:
 
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=4b7cdd1d5fd37210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=73566811264a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD
 
This bulletin provides a general summary of recent USCIS developments. It is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as legal advice.