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US Immigration and Foreign Worker H-1B Trends in 2013

There are many U.S. immigration programs aimed at helping U.S. companies attract and retain skilled foreign workers, but if you are interested in coming to the United States pursuant to a job offer, a 2012 analysis by the Brookings Institute shows that the technology industry accounts for the majority of H-1B visas. The H-1B visa program allows companies to hire foreign workers for U.S. based jobs. H-1B visas are considered skilled worker visas as recipients are required to have a bachelor’s degree in their field. A company based overseas but wishing to hire foreign nationals for a job in the United States must obtain a visa for those employees.

Trends in Industries Applying for U.S. Immigration Services

H-1B visas are primarily used to attract skilled workers in the science and technology field. According to the Brookings Institute, more than 50% of the H-1B visa recipients work in computer technology. Other popular categories include healthcare, social sciences, life sciences, finance and business operations.

Are Immigration Services Only for Large Companies?

While the demand for H-1B visas has fluctuated over the last 10 years, employer requests have exceeded the number of visas every year except for two years when the annual cap was more than doubled. Although the top 10 employers filing labor condition applications includes large companies like Intel, Microsoft and Google, the Brookings Institute analysis indicates that almost half of employers filing requested only one worker and 94% requested fewer than 10.

What is Happening in Florida?

Although New York City and Los Angeles top the metropolitan areas for H-1B demand, the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Pompano Beach falls within the top 15 metropolitan areas for H-1B demand. In fact, according to the Brookings Institute analysis more than 7,000 H-1B visas were issued to foreign workers and applications came from more than 6,000 employers.

Many skilled foreign workers and companies apply for H-1B visas, but you should know that there is a cap of 65,000 petitions for all industries. It is important to put your application together early and submit before the cap is reached. Although we cannot predict H-1B visa or U.S. immigration trends for 2013, we can look at the last several years to have an idea of what to expect, who will be hiring and what we should see in 2013. We hope for positive news this year.

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