What's in an H-1B?

Iowa Employment & Labor Law Dickinson Law Firm Des Moines Iowa

Posted on 06/29/2010 at 09:41 AM by The Newsroom

When people learn that I handle immigration cases in addition to traditional labor and employment law matters, many leap to the conclusion that the typical immigration client is an uneducated, undocumented worker, presumably from Mexico.  Many are surprised to learn that I primarily assist employers who wish to hire highly educated foreign nationals to fill specialty occupations.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently provided its annual report with statistics to buttress my description of my immigration practice: Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers. This annual report by USCIS confirms that, for Fiscal Year 2009 (October 1, 2008-September 30, 2009):

  • Approximately 48% of all H-1B petitions approved (just over 103,000) were for workers born in India; 20,855 were approved for workers born in China 20,855; 9,650 were approved for Canadians.

  • 41% of H-1 B petitions approved were for workers with a bachelor's degree, 40% had a master's degree, 13% had a doctorate, and 6% were for workers with a professional degree.

  • About 41% of H-1B petitions approved were for workers in computer-related occupations.

  • The median salary of beneficiaries of approved petitions was $64,000.

  • The number of H-l B petitions filed decreased 15 percent to 246,647 from 288,764 in FY 2008.

Iowa employers looking to fill specialty occupations (generally those requiring a bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent as the minimum entry requirement for the position) may file H-1B petitions to sponsor qualified foreign nationals. While an annual cap limits the number of H-1B petitions that may be approved in a fiscal year, there are still H-1Bs available for FY2010.  

The material in this blog is not intended, nor should it be construed or relied upon, as legal advice. Please consult with an attorney if specific legal information is needed.


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