Former Federal Reserve Chair calls for more H-1B visas

Former Federal Reserve Chair calls for an increase in the number of H-1B visas to increase productivity in the United States.

A recent article in CNN Money is calling for additional H-1B visas. The article focuses on comments by Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chair. According to Greenspan, the United States could increase productivity throughout the nation by providing a greater number of H1-B visas.

What is an H-1B visa?

H-1B visas are designed to allow highly skilled foreign workers to enter the United States for employment. The term is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as:

A visa that the U.S. uses to let foreign parties work here temporarily. An employer must sponsor them and the job must be in one area by law.

Generally, to receive an H-1B visa an applicant employee must meet the following qualifications:

  • Degree. In most cases, the applicant must establish that he or she has a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) clarify that three years of work experience can be the "equivalent" of one year of education. As a result, a combination of work experience and education can be used to meet this obligation.
  • Specialty occupation. The USCIS notes that jobs generally qualify as "specialty occupations" when they require a bachelor degree. Examples include positions in the engineering, mathematical, business and technology fields.
  • Wage. The applicant must also be receiving the "prevailing wage" in the field.

Establishing that each criterion is met requires various pieces of documentation. For example, when determining if a job qualifies as a "specialty occupation" the USCIS may refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Department of Labor. If the position in question is not included in this handbook, the federal agency may refer to previous position announcements to see if they required the presence of a degree, a detailed description of the position or written opinions from experts in the field when making its determination.

The application may also need to provide evidence of the applicant’s educational background. This could include a copy of the final transcript or a letter from the registrar. The agency also notes that if a combination of education and work experience is used to meet this criterion, "substantial evidence" is required at the time of filing.

Applying for an H1-B visa? An attorney can help.

Putting together an application that addresses these and other requirements can help reduce the risk of issues when attempting to receive an H-1B visa for an employee. As a result, it is wise to contact an experienced business visa attorney. This legal professional can assist in putting together an application, better ensuring a more favorable outcome.