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H1-B applications to be accepted April 1

Depending on one's circumstances there are multiple ways in which it may be possible to come to the United States. Foreign nationals with certain backgrounds may be able to accomplish this with an H1-B visa. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting applications for these visas in several weeks, on April 1.

Individuals who may be able to benefit from an H1-B visa must fit a certain description. In addition to having a bachelor's degree, or something equivalent, the individual must have expertise in one of the following fields:

  • Arts
  • Law
  • Education
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Technology

There are a limited amount of these visas available each year which must be applied for by an employer. The H1-B visa makes it possible for employers in need of workers with skills in those fields to hire someone from another country. A total of 65,000 of these visas are available each year with an additional 20,000 designated specifically for those who hold master's degrees from a university in the U.S. The speed at which both caps are reached has reached some in the tech field, such as Mark Zuckerberg, to seek an increase in the number allowed under the cap. 

Because an increase in that cap is not slated to take place this year, it is important that businesses interested in bringing foreign nationals into the U.S. to work, take action shortly after that date arrives. The failure to do so could result in a missed opportunity to hire a skilled foreign national the business needs.

Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal, "Temporary employment visas expected to go fast," Charlsie Dewey, Feb. 28, 2014

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