How Has the H1B Visa Application and Qualification Changed?

The last few years have brought important changes to employment-based visas into America. An H1B visa is especially popular in foreigners, as they can transition from working in the country to becoming a legal resident. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service opens 65,000 such visas every year in the beginning of April and the visa allocation is often exhausted within the first week. While foreigners use this path to becoming a lawful citizen of the country, there is no doubt their numerous contributions to the society have advanced the country immensely.


It might come as a surprise to California residents that first or second-generation immigrants founded nearly half of Fortune 500 companies. The top 10 employers of H1B visa holders are tech giants Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Intel. Given their contribution to the vitality of the economy, it would seem that policies would be introduced to support the H1B visa, but this is not the case.


The Buy American, Hire American policy has greatly hampered the ability of foreign nationals proficient in math and engineering to get a work visa. The new policy requires that either the most accomplished applicants or highest paid beneficiaries receive H1B visas. New forms were introduced during the application process that are created in a way to elicit personal information from applicants and increase paperwork pressure.


The uncertainty of American policies can be overwhelming for someone embarking on their employment path in the country. Though it may seem as if the immigration system is built in a manner to overwhelm applicants, it does not have to be this way. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance on how to fulfill one’s immigration objective.

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Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.

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