Friday, January 16, 2015

Employee Sponsorship Returns as a Real Possibility

Employee Sponsorship Returns as a Real Possibility

Visa Availability (3rd Preference Employment-Based) Surges Ahead

After years of backlogs and a demand for numbers that far exceeded the yearly quota, one’s chances of winning the lottery seemed far greater than capturing a number in the third preference visa category.  For many years the wait in this category was so long that obtaining a green card through an employer seemed more of a pipe dream or an object always out of reach; never mind trying to convince an employer to start the green card process when it could take anywhere from 6 to 10 years to complete.  With a future too far away to grasp, many were too discouraged to even embark upon the process. 

Flash forward to the visa bulletin of February 2015, and the world appears a brighter more hospitable place for individuals seeking permanent residency through an employer in the United States.  Over the past year, third preference visa availability has surged ahead with the priority date jumping 18 months in a span of 12 calendar months.  With a third preference priority date now January 1, 2014, the wait for a visa is shorter now then we have seen in many, many years. 

Companies that utilize the H1B and H2B program should pay close attention to this development.  Shorter wait times improve an employee’s ability to maintain nonimmigrant status during the transition from temporary to permanent status, and facilitate international travel by allowing one to travel with advance parole (sooner) thereby alleviating the stress and concern associated with renewing the visa at a US Consulate abroad.   

As with all good things this opportunity will not last.  As more take advantage, the demand for numbers will increase and visa availability will again slow down.  Future immigration reform will also affect these numbers and effect the balance of demand and availability.  Employers and Employees alike should begin exploring this new opportunity now.   
Mitchell C. Zwaik
Long Island, NY, Brooklyn, NY
(631) 588-4040,

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