Important Announcement Regarding H-1B Fiasco

As you are aware by now, on the first day that H-1B petitions could be
filed (April 2nd), the Immigration Service received more than 123,000
petitions for the approximate 55,000 available visas. Unfortunately,
this means that even those who successfully filed their petition are not
guaranteed that they will receive an H-1B visa. The Immigration Service
has now conducted its lottery and has said that it will contact the
"winners" by sending a fee receipt within the next 4 weeks. They will
return the visa petitions and filing fees for those who did not win the
lottery.

This has created considerable angst among employers, aliens, and
attorneys. It will still be a matter of weeks before we will know who
the winners and losers are. Of course, the winners will be elated. The
"losers" will be devastated, everyone will attempt to find some other
alternative visas or other avenues.

First, this result is unconscionable. Not only has it produced stress
and anxiety among everyone concerned, it is producing uncertainty for a
lengthy period of time as to what the results would be.

Second, the fact that well over twice as many petitions were filed that
could be approved, on the very first day, shows that there is a definite
need for the law to be changed! Everyone needs to contact their
Congressmen and let them know that the system needs to be fixed.
Congress is hearing from many people who say that there are enough H-1B
visa holders, in fact, too many, and that U.S. employers are using this
as a mechanism to hire people who are underpaid, and, therefore,
negatively affecting the salaries of the U.S. workers. While specific
cases have been pointed out (I cannot deny that it does happen, on
occasion), Congress needs to note that the majority of the employers are
following the regulations and paying the prevailing wage. This message
needs to be heard loud and clear in order to counteract the few examples
of cases presented to Congress where the regulations are not followed.

Hopefully, we will not have to go through the anxiety that we had to
endure this year ever again. But that is up to Congress!

Edward R. Litwin
Attorney at Law
Certified Immigration and Nationality Law Specialist
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization