H-1B Program helps the U.S. Economy

H-1B Program helps the U.S. Economy

Question: I have heard various conflicting things about the H-1B Program. Some say it hurts the U.S. economy and others say it helps. Can you let me know your thoughts on the H-1B program?

Answer: The H-1B Program is limited to alien workers filling positions in “specialty occupations” for which the alien workers have the necessary credentials. A “specialty occupation” is defined as a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The H-1B Program is meant for persons with college educations.

Question: What types of jobs are available under the H-1B Program?

Answer: Approximately 54% of all H-1B petitions approved in 2008 under the H-1B program were for workers born in India (workers from China, Canada, Philippines, Korea, and the United Kingdom were the next largest users of the H-1B category). Two-thirds of the H-1B petitions approved under the H-1B program in 2008 were for workers between the ages of 25 and 34 (the next largest segment were workers between the ages of 35 and 39).Forty-three percent of H-1B petitions approved under the H-1B program were for workers with a bachelor’s degree, 41% for workers with a master’s degree, 11% for workers with a doctorate, and 5% for workers with a professional degree (in total, 99% had earned at least a bachelor’s degree and 57% had earned at least a master’s degree). Almost half of H-1B petitions approved in 2008 under the H-1B Program were for workers in computer-related occupations (occupations in architecture, engineering, and surveying comprised the second largest group, and occupations in education, administrative specializations, and medicine and health were the next largest groups). As to specific occupations, 44% of approved petitions under the 2008 H-1B Program were for systems analysts and programmers. Occupations in colleges and university education (university professors and teachers) were the second largest group (7.3%). Other large groups included: other computer-related occupations (4.3%), accountants, auditors, and related occupations (3.8%), electrical/electronics engineering occupations (3.6%), and physicians and surgeons (2.8%). The median salary remained at $60,000 in 2008 for the H-1B Program. About 50% were scheduled to earn between $50,000 and $83,000. Median compensation ranged from a low of $35,500 for occupations in religion and theology to a high of $125,000 for occupations in law.

Question: Under the H-1B Program, what are the general qualifications of the H-1B worker?

Answer: Aliens seeking to perform services in a specialty occupation must establish that they have the qualifications to undertake the services required for that specialty occupation under the H-1B program.. At a minimum, an alien in a specialty occupation must document that he or she has full state licensure to practice in the occupation, if such licensure is required to practice. The alien must also establish that he or she has completed the degree required as the minimum standard for entry into the occupation in the United States, or has experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree and recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions in the occupation. Because the economy is still not doing well, there are plenty of H-1B’s left. Therefore, if you want to get under the H-1B Program, you should move on the petition so that it will be in this years allotment. Be sure you have a qualified immigration attorney prepare the H-1B petition as there are many different parts that must be properly completed.