The H-1B visa season is fast coming up within a couple of months. It’s time for U.S. companies to prepare the applications for filing H-1B visas.
However, almost everyone in the world is certainly feeling the negative impact of the U.S. economic recession.
More than 500,000 employees had been laid off in the month of January 2009 alone. One U.S. Senator has even requested Microsoft to lay off H-1B workers before firing American workers.
More than 1 million jobs had been lost during the last few months. Finding a job right now is very difficult.
If you have been following the comments to some of the articles in this blog, you’ll know that many had applied for H-1B last year, got selected in lottery, but some employers didn’t send the approval papers for visa stamping.
There are very few job openings available right now and for these few available jobs, more than 1,000 people are fighting for that single position.
A lot of employees are in bench, trying hard to find any contract position. But not many positions are open in the current job market.
Expected Number of H-1B applications for 2009 (FY 2010)
It’s really hard to predict the actual number of petitions the USCIS will receive for this year. But considering the recent events, I feel it will be around 20 to 30% lower than last year.
There is certainly anxiety involved when applying for H-1B visas from outside the U.S. and it’s very hard to come to the U.S. if your consulting firm cannot find jobs for you.
One of my friends said that he would prefer to stay in India and get a better job than applying for H-1B visa and then face the uncertainty of not finding a job after coming to stay in the U.S.
The U.S. economy is expected to rebound within 1-2 years, according to economists. People who got laid off will be able to find new jobs when the economy starts to improve.
However, how long does it take to find a job when more applications are vying for just a single position? I will let you decide on that time frame.
Here’s a link to some frequently asked questions about the H-1B Visa 2009 lottery process.
Students Extending Graduation Date
Current students in the U.S. in F-1 visa will also try to delay their graduation dates until the economy picks up. This way they will have better chances to be employed. However, overall, things are not looking good.
If you happen to read/watch CNN, you will come across unbelievable stories like a certain company VP who used to make $150,000 per year but is now working for a $10 per hour job in a retail store, along with many other similar stories.
This year is going to be very tough. But will the H-1B visa cap for 2009 still increase?