14 February 2024

What’s an H1B Visa and How Will Potential Changes Impact Your Business?

By Ronald Smith

As I’m sure you’re aware, the H1B visa is quite the hot topic these days. So, what exactly is it and how might the proposed changes make a difference for your business?

Well, the H1B visa is a special type of visa that allows foreign workers to come to the United States and work for American companies. It’s often sought after by highly skilled professionals, particularly those in technology and engineering fields.

Now, let’s talk about the changes that are on the horizon. They could have a significant impact on your business, so it’s crucial to understand what’s going on.

You see, the proposed changes aim to reform the H1B visa program to prioritize American workers. That means there could be stricter criteria and additional restrictions placed on employers seeking to hire foreign workers through the H1B visa.

Why is this happening, you ask? Well, the main goal is to ensure that American workers have more opportunities and aren’t overlooked in favor of foreign workers. The changes hope to strike a balance between being fair to American workers and keeping the U.S. competitive in the global market.

So, how might these changes affect your business? Well, if you currently employ foreign workers through the H1B visa program or are planning to do so in the future, there could be some adjustments you’ll need to make.

It’s possible that you’ll need to meet stricter requirements and provide more evidence to demonstrate that you’ve tried to hire American workers before turning to foreign hires. This could include advertising job positions more widely or offering training programs to American workers.

Additionally, there may be limits on the number of H1B visas that are available each year, making it even more competitive to secure one for your workers.

Now, it’s essential to keep in mind that these changes are still being discussed and debated, so nothing is set in stone just yet. However, it’s wise to stay informed and be prepared for potential shifts in the H1B visa program.

Ultimately, the proposed changes to the H1B visa program have the potential to impact your business. By understanding what an H1B visa is and staying up to date on the latest developments, you can navigate the ever-changing landscape of immigration policies and ensure the continued success of your business.

What's an H1B Visa and How Will Potential Changes Impact Your Business?

So, you know that guy Donald Trump? The one who’s going to be the next president? Well, he’s got some ideas about H1B visas that might affect small businesses like yours and the people who work for them.

But let’s be real here, you’re a busy business owner. You’ve got a million things on your plate, and trying to wrap your head around immigration laws is probably not one of them. Lucky for you, I’m here to break it down for you in plain and simple terms. So let’s get to it!

Alright, so what is an H1B Visa anyway?

Basically, an H1B visa is a program that allows businesses in the U.S. to hire foreign workers for specific jobs. But it’s not as straightforward as just hiring someone from another country.

In an email to USamerica.US, Immigration Attorney Paul Goldstein broke down the concept of the H-1B visa for me. He explained that this visa is specifically for foreign workers who are employed in ‘specialty occupations’. But what exactly qualifies as a ‘specialty occupation’? Well, Goldstein says that the position must meet one of the following criteria:

  • The job must require a bachelor’s degree or a higher level of education, or an equivalent qualification.
  • Alternatively, the job must have a degree requirement that is commonly expected in the industry for similar positions. It could also be so specialized that only someone with a degree can perform it.
  • Lastly, the position must be one where the employer typically demands a degree or an equivalent qualification.
  • Either the job’s nature or its duties are so complex that the knowledge needed to perform them is typically associated with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

In essence, the job should be something that requires or would typically require a college degree.

Which Employees Are Covered by H1B Visas?

Basically, any business that hires people for positions that require a college degree can apply for H1B visas.

However, there are certain types of businesses that tend to use them more often. For example, tech companies like IBM usually apply for a significant portion of the available visas.

In addition, some physicians, as well as non-profit and government researchers, may also qualify for the program. But some of these positions are not subject to the annual cap on H1B visas.

What Could Changes to H1B Visas Mean for Businesses?

President-elect Trump has proposed making changes to H1B and other visas to address potential abuse.

Currently, there is a limit on the number of H1B visa applications approved each year.

According to Goldstein, Congress has set a maximum number of visas to be issued in a fiscal year, starting from October 1st, at 65,000. There are an additional 20,000 visas reserved for foreign workers who have obtained a master’s degree or higher from a United States college or university. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) will accept H1B petitions for the fiscal year starting on April 1st, with employment start dates in October.

But let me tell you, there aren’t any specific changes that are already in the works for H1B visas. We might see some new restrictions down the line, like a smaller cap or higher fees for applicants. But honestly, it’s too soon to know for sure what those changes will be.

Now, here’s what you need to know. If you’re a business looking to use the H1B program, the best thing you can do is apply as early as possible. Trust me, it’s your best bet.

So here’s the deal. The new administration led by President-elect Trump has promised changes to the immigration laws. But here’s the thing, we have to wait and see what they propose for H1B visas and what gets approved by Congress. What I can tell you though, is that if you want to file an H1B, you better start early and have everything ready by April 1st. That’s the key to success.