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 H1B Visa Trivia 
Did you know that ...

1) Every year there are 4 different quotas / ways to obtain an H1B work visa:

Regular Quota = 65,000 for anyone, anywhere in the world
ADE Quota = 20,000 for International students that graduate in the USA with an MBA (or higher)

H1B Cap Exempt Program = unlimited in number (no quota applies) 
H1B Transfers = unlimited in number (no quota applies)

2) Foreign individuals can not file or apply for their own H1B visa applications

3) Only US Corporations that meet the H1B sponsor requirements, rules and obligations can file and submit H1B visa applications and petitions on behalf of the Foreign worker they want to employ 

4) Not all US Companies do or will sponsor or file for work visas (many have policies against it)

5) Tarp recipient companies (those that received 'bail-out' money from the Government) have restrictions on sponsoring for H1B's in 2009 and 2010

6) The Employer-Employee regulation introduced a new rule in 2010 that now restricts and even prohibits many agencies and consulting firms from hiring and sponsoring for H1B visas

7) An H1B Sponsorship Employment Offer letter is mandatory before an H1B visa can be applied for 

8) Due the the H1B program requirements, many US jobs do not qualify for or are available for H1B Sponsorship Employment  

9) An H1B Visa can be processed and issued by the USCIS in as quickly as 15 days through the Premium Processing Filing method

10) The USCIS filing fees for an H1B visa application are legally required to be paid by the US Corporation who is sponsoring the applicant 

11) The process and procedure to obtain an H1B visa is the same for everyone whether they are already in the USA or whether they are abroad

12) Foreign born workers who want an H1B work visa to live in the USA, must qualify and meet the requirements set by the US Immigration Bureau

13) The H1B qualification requirements can be met by either/or - higher education achievement or by professional work experience (it does not necessarily require both)

14) The H1B visa program is designed for educated and experienced people that work in what are considered to be 'Specialty Professions' only

15) People that meet the requirements to qualify for the H1B visa program are considered to be in the Top 20% of the Global workforce

16) Aligned with the USCIS 'fiscal year', the H1B quota for each year opens in the previous October (for example: the H1B quota for 2011 actually opens in October 2010)  

However, H1B visas for the Regular and ADE quotas can Not be filed for until April 1st onwards each year (for example: the quota opens in October but visas can not be filed for until the following April) 

Although US employers can start filing H1B visas from April each year, the applicants that they file visas for can not start work for the US employer until October onwards each year 

Here's how the cycle works every year...

a. 'Main' H1B Recruitment and Hiring Period - from October to April - recruitment continues until the quota has been filled
b. H1B Filing Period - from April 1st onwards - continues until All visas in the annual quota have been filed and issued

c. H1B Employment Start Period - from October 1st onwards  

17) Because there is a quota (limited number) of H1B visas each year - as a safeguard and precaution, many of the top H1B employers start recruiting up to six months before the visa filing period opens, to ensure they find all the H1B workers, and have all the required paperwork and documents ready to file on or as close to April 1st as possible 

18) When the filing period opens each April it continues until the whole quota of available H1B's has been taken. There is no official filing "deadline" for filing to end (the rule is that quota lasts until such time as all visas have been issued)

19) On 2 very rare occasions (in previous years), the annual quota has been filled as quickly as within 2 weeks of opening in April. Because there were more applications filed than there were visas available for the quota - the USCIS introduced a lottery selection system to randomly pick which applicants would be issued H1B visas that year

20) The rule is that a lottery selection system is Only used when the number of applications submitted is higher than the quota availability for that year (a lottery has only ever happened 2 times in the entire history of the H1B visa program

21) As the primary US work visa, there are lots of Foreign nationals that want an H1B visa, and there are only so many made available each year - this creates a high volume of demand for H1B's

22) Traditionally, the Best months to find H1B jobs and Sponsorship Employment Positions is from October to April (known as the main recruitment period)

23) After a Foreign worker has obtained an H1B visa, if they want to change employment to a new US employer, the new US employer can file to transfer the H1B visa on behalf of the worker

24) H1B visas are valid for up to 6 years duration, but they are usually first issued for an initial period of 3 years and then needs to be extended for a further 3 years

25) The spouse and children (under 21) of the H1B visa holder qualify to obtain an H4 dependent visa which allows them to live in the USA (but an H4 visa does not authorize them to work). H4 visa holders would need to obtain their own H1B if they want to work

26) A huge benefit of obtaining an H1B visa is that they are classed as 'dual intent' visas - which means the H1B worker can get a Green Card (permanent residency) 

27) Foreign born workers have founded / co-founded some of the largest and most successful US companies (including Google, Intel, Sun, eBay and Yahoo)

28) Foreign born workers have founded more than 50% of all high-tech companies in Silicon Valley (and thousands more around the Country)

29) US companies founded by Foreign workers generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in the USA and employ hundreds of thousands of American workers every year

30) Foreign born workers contributed to more than a quarter of US global patent applications

31) Foreign born workers generate Billions of dollars in revenue for the USA every single year

32) Based on the facts, statistics, history and trends: H1B workers contribute greatly to the overall US economy and every year there are thousands of both US founded, and especially H1B founded companies, that warmly welcome, want and need more Foreign national workers.
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