An Update on Facing the H-1B Gamble

Skilled Foreign Talent

April 1 is April Fool’s Day. For businesses seeking to hire specialty talent from other parts of the world, it’s tossing your hat in the ring for an H-1B Visa day. The lottery for H-1B visas opens the first business day of April.

Some small businesses see an effect of President’s Trump changes to this program. Using this program to hire skilled foreign talent has never been easy for a small business. It involves gobs of money and mountains of paperwork, a significant barrier.

There are still 85,000 visas available for workers with a bachelor’s degree who have a specialty occupation. Your company applies for your prospective employee. If granted, the visa goes to the employee.

Some small businesses say the minor changes adversely affect their ability to hire the best-skilled employees. The basic program rules haven’t changed, but expedited processing is no longer available. Additional paperwork is often required.

The extra time and effort reportedly add 20% to the cost. Others report an inability to snatch H-1B workers from large companies, due to the employee’s fear of being kicked out of the country if they change jobs. On the other side, it’s reduced abuse of the system by large companies and outsourcing firms.

What is the best option for your small business if you need specialized talent? Adjusting the position to attract a skilled US citizen, pilfering a larger company employee with an H-1B already in hand, or applying for another type of visa. Check with an immigration lawyer before braving the visa process.


Author: Kris Keppeler, writer for Crossing Genres on, and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award winning podcast producer. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.


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