Tuesday, March 14, 2017

H-1B: How many continue beyond the six years?

H-1B: How many continue beyond the six years?

In Computer Occupations, 22,000 second extensions granted annually.

Subjects: H-1B, Characteristics, AC21, PERM, Computer Occupations

I stumbled onto the 2015 H-1B Characteristics report, date-stamped March 17, 2016, it was embargoed from the public for almost a year. I think it is important to know what's happening within one's occupation.

On the topic of AC21 extension, I found that there are two types that are statistically significant. A seventh year extension which is annually renewed and a three year version if the intending immigrant will fall under the per-country quota backlog for PERM. There is no way i could find to tell the difference between the two numerically, but for the IT occupations (by percent), about 22,000 are filed annually. If the H-1B are primarily from India and China (3 yr. extensions), this would be 22,000 people, otherwise some portion of 22,000.

 This number is significant to me because I have to ask, does the employee accept sponsorship as a job perk? Does (s)he really want to be a citizen, or is it just more convenient to stay? In some cases, PERM requires advertising the job and a labor certification examination. Does this happen when the petition is filed, or after the H-1B holds the job for another ten years on a hopeless waiting list?  (As of January 17, 2017, DHS is giving itself 1780 days (4.8 years) to complete Labor Certifications.)

Alternately, if there is a dire shortage of these "brightest and best," why would only 1/3 be sponsored when PERM is so cheap?

Here's what the H-1B Characteristics report says about Continuing employment extensions. 

Continuing employment petitions refer to extensions, sequential employment, and concurrent employment, which are filed for aliens already in the United States. Extensions generally are filed for H-1B workers intending to work beyond the initial 3-year period up to a total of six years, the maximum period generally permissible under law. Sequential employment refers to petitions for workers transferring between H-1B employers within the 6-year period. Finally, petitions for concurrent employment are filed for H-1B workers intending to work simultaneously for an additional H-1B employer.

Neither AC21 nor prior legislation established a cap on H-1B petitions for continuing employment. Certain aliens are exempt from the 6-year maximum period of admission under the provisions of the 

American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21), Pub. L. No. 106-313, 114 Stat. 1251. Computer Related H-1B

Computer-related occupations

Initial employment approvals
2010 = 31,661
2011 = 51,570
2012 = 83,444
2013 = 79,870
2014 = 80,877
2015 = 70,902

Total = 398,324 (66387.3 avg)

Total employment approvals (Continuing plus Initial)
2013 = 171,613
2014 = 203,425
2015 = 183,076

Total = 558,114

(Amount exceeding Initial employment approvals = 159,790)

Computer related, percent of all H-1B occupations
2013 = 59.8%
2014 = 64.5%
2015 = 66.5%

(Source data: Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers (H-1B): Fiscal Year 20xx_)

Concurrent and Change of employment applications
(Occupational share (percent of))
2013 = 26,493
2014 = 33,477
2015 = 34,041

Total = 94,012

Remainder of excess continuing approvals = 65,778 (21,926 avg yr.)

Employer is filing a second (or subsequent) extension of stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant.
(Occupational share (percent of))
2013 = 23,745
2014 = 28,975
2015 = 26,348

26,356 avg yr.

(Source data: FY 20xx Annual Report: H-1B Petitions)

By subtracting fee data from the Computer-related occupations in the Characteristics report, we arrive at an average of 21,926 extensions, but are unable to differentiate between single and three year duration.

By distributing the percentage of Computer-related occupations across "second (or subsequent) extension of stay" fee data, we arrive at an average of 26,356 extensions, but are still unable to differentiate between single and three year duration.

Data: https://www.uscis.gov/tools/reports-studies/reports-and-studies

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