VIDEO: H1B delivery problems highlight broken employment visa system

Hi. It’s Jim Hacking, Immigration and Employment Visa Attorney practicing law here in St. Louis, Missouri. We’re shooting a short video to let you know that there’s been a big issue this year with the filing of the H1B Visa applications and that if you have filed and you are concerned about it, you need to make sure that your attorney is following up on the application. Now, here is what happened, as you know April 1st marks the first day that USCIS can receive H1B applications that is the I-129 application form that’s used and all the supporting documents that the Immigration Service uses this sort of antiquated system where there are certain number of Visas available every year, that’s October 1st which is the start of the Federal Government fiscal year and the law allows employers who want to sponsor a foreign worker to file those applications six months early and that’s April 1st.

Typically, what happens is immigration attorneys and their clients are very busy in late February, March, all of March, each year, trying to scramble to get their applications out the door so that they file timely on April 1st. It’s really a silly system, the Cap itself is ridiculous. We’ve spent a lot of time on other videos talking about the foolishness of the Cap how employers are not being able to get the workers that they need to build their business, to expand their business, to develop expertise in their area of study and is already a subject of other videos so you can check those out. What we’re talking about today is this April 1st deadline and what happened this year and what happened was there were problems with couriers that over 200 applications either arrived damaged or didn’t arrived at all at the Vermont Service Center.

Depending on what area the country the employer is located and where the employee is located, that determines which USCIS service center the application is going to. Early on immigration attorneys started telling stories that their packages were not being delivered that the Immigration Service in Vermont had reported that these were not getting receded, we’re not being properly filed and we’re being rejected. There’s obviously a lot of consternation and concern on the part of employers and their immigration attorneys and most importantly by the foreign employees who want to be able to stay in the United States and everyone was left scratching their head, “Well, what are we going to do?” The Immigration Service has agreed to receive second H1B applications that is if you have filed one previously and if it was damaged or lost or never delivered and if you can prove that you had timely filed it before the April 1st deadline, the Immigration Service is going to allow these unreceded, unreceived applications to be refiled.

They’re going to refund the original filing fees if they were receded and they’re going to allow the employers and the employees to participate in the H1B Visa lottery. Just goes to show that this whole paper heavy, regulated heavy system is really out of whack. Employers should be able to employ the immigrants that they need in order to build their businesses and this idea that all applications have to be filed on April 1st and we all have to use Federal Express or UPS to get these applications out the door on March 31st, it really is no way to run a country and it really is a problem. We hope that smarter heads prevail that the people in Washington DC start working on immigration reform and greatly increasing the number of Visas available for employers and we really hope that there is some change that occurs in the years to come because this whole system is broken, it’s just not working.

If you feel that the system isn’t working, if you feel that your clients or your employees are not being properly addressed and represented in the H1B system, we urge you to contact your senator or your U.S. representative, let them know your concerns, let them know that this system is broken that the employers need greater help in growing their businesses and to review and to revise the H1B system. If you have any questions throughout this or you want to talk to Jim or any of us here at the office about immigration reform, give us a call, 314-961-8200 or you can e-mail me jim@hackinglawpractice.com. Thanks.