Applying for H-1B Visa 2009 (FY 2010) – Think Twice!

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 8 Comments

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?


  1. hi,

    right now iam on h4 and iam in a dilema whether to apply for h1 or not?

    and i don't find any good consultant could you please suggest me what to do


    2. Even I am not applying for my wife, being not selected last 2 times in lottery.. If you already on H4, it will be tough to manage the visa status without having a job. As market is gloomy it's better to wait for 1 more year..

  2. Hello,

    Here is my situation and my questions:

    Situation and Facts:

    I am a international student, my visa is F1 and I’m in a Community College in Iowa finishing my AA degree.

    I started this AA Degree in August 2008.

    I already have a Bachelor of Administration issued in Brazil, and I’m using some classed that I have done in Brazil to expedite the completion of the AA Degree in USA using WES.
    If everything goes well with WES and the credit transfers to College I’ll complete the AA Degree in May 2009.

    I have no scholarship, FinalcialAid or Assistantship.

    I tried to apply for Work Permit (USCIS Form I-765) using the devaluation of the currency of Brazil caused by the crisis, but the USCIS denied. (Situations beyond my control)

    Already received some proposals for employment but with no budget to pay for the H1B process.

    My money is finished and must work in any way to sustain me.


    1 – Is it a good idea to complete the AA Degree in May/09?

    2 – If I apply for OPT in the next few weeks can I work from May (when the classes end) until October(When the H1B process is done) not been a student anymore?

    3-I received a proposal to work in a Information Technology Company, they do sponsor the H1B, but the financial part will be my responsibility. I heard that the value of the H1B process is around 5 thousand U.S. dollars, this information is correct? What else I need to know about this ?

    4 – What are the chances of my OPT be denied because my Major is Bussines and the company that will work is in Information Technology market?

    I would be very, very grateful if someone could give me guidance about what I do.

    Thanks again…

  3. PimPin' AinT EZ.. But AinT No ThinG BuT a ChicKen Wing… Good LucK H1b-ers

  4. People,

    I got my H1B approved last year 2008, my employer sent me my approval notice in Feb 2009 after i pushed them to send my papers. But i haven't applied for a visa yet because i am worried about the job situation in US.

    Is there any body who is moving to US this year in 2009? please share your thoughts.


    Faisal Khan

    1. hello faisal,,

      iam planning for H1b visa, well i complted my engg in 2004 and i got 4 years exp in IT,,could pls give some information to appply H1b visa,,its will be helpful to me

  5. Hi,

    I completed my Masters' in Dec'07. I went through a consultant who applied for my H1b in Apr'08 and got it approved. I quit the consultant job in Oct'08 and came back to INDIA in Dec' 08 due to the recession after I lost my consultant job.

    I do not know if my H1B was revoked or not. However, what is that I need to do in order to ensure that my earlier H1B is revoked?

    I am right now working for a good company from the last 8 months in my home country and my experience and job profile matches many requirements in the current US job market. However, I do not want to go through the consultant mess of H1B again.

    How do I approach any employer in the US for a job and if do get selected for a job, what are the steps that I need to take to ensure that I do get my H1B or any other valid work visa stamped?



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