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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Something new I'm starting. USCIS puts out weekly data on the use of H-1B visas for the 2011 fiscal year which starts in October. I'm going to monitor that for readers and add my own projection on the months the caps are likely to be hit.  The quota is 65,000 per fiscal year plus an additional 20,000 for folks with degrees from US advanced degree programs.  Applications began being accepted on April 1st. In past years, the H-1B quota was exhausted almost immediately after the application period opened up. Last year, as a result of the recession and also as a result of USCIS and Congress' war on staffing companies, H-1B usage fell sharply and the general quota was not reached until December. This year, usage is even more anemic.

As of August 13th, 29,700 H-1Bs have been used in the 65,000 quota. 1200 H-1Bs were receipted last week which is about the same as the prior two weeks. That represents a pick up in usage over prior months where about 500 to 700 H-1Bs were used each week. This could represent a pick up in economic activity in the US. It might also reflect the fact that we're getting closer to October 1st and H-1B employers don't have to hire far in advance anymore. Based on current usage, the H-1B quota will be exhausted in 29 weeks which is in March 2011.

Masters cap cases are at 12,300. The usage has been about 300 a week and this has been typical since April. Based on current usage, that quota will be used up in 25 weeks which is in February 2011.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    I think this is sort of an aberation. If you combine job creation rates in the US versus Asia and Canada and perhaps even Australia, there is every indication that it is cheaper to move jobs abroad instead of hiring H1-B and the perceptions from the recent fee hikes will only accelerate this trend.
  2. KR's Avatar
    Do you think they'll be a dent in your calculations with the new 50/50 H-1B rule?
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    Dont see any antis in the protest...asking that we train Americans...the issue only arises when we try to bring in foreigners to fill the gap..not when jobs go abroad or when teachers are cut....
  4. Emily Haverkamp's Avatar
    I've been practicing since 2007, and it makes me feel like an old-timer seeing these numbers. "Back in my day, we had to race to get petitions out by April 1, and we STILL had a 50/50 chance." I do wonder if some of the previous shortages did contribute, and companies adapted and like r outsourcing better at this juncture.
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    "I do wonder if some of the previous shortages did contribute, and companies adapted and like r outsourcing better at this juncture."

  6. George Chell's Avatar
    Interesting article .,8599,2012443,00.html

    "The recent passage of health care reform legislation offers some improvement to primary-care doctors, but doctors see it as insufficient. "The new legislation adds a 10% bonus to primary-care physicians' Medicare reimbursement salaries. But this is nowhere near enough. We need to see a 30% to 50% increase in salaries overall to make any real change in the system," says Dr. Lori Heim, president of the AAFP."

    With debt and deficits who is going to pay for the salary increase? The Insurance corporations, the hospitals, anti-immigration groups, the public? The insurance corporations says that at the rate of $1,200 a year for medical check-up, they wont pay other than for five yearly visits. In Singapore, it costs $500 a check-up and my insurance will pay. So I go there because my insurance will pay. The international Org I work for is thinking seriously about getting employees to get their check-up abroad because they cannot afford it anymore. Any takers?
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