Startups That Win the H-1B Lottery Get More Funding

Mario A. Godoy
Startups That Win the H-1B Lottery Get More Funding

On the first business day of April, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) make available a limited amount of H-1B nonimmigrant visas for U.S. employers to hire experienced foreign professionals. H-1B lottery visas are for professional workers in specialty occupations including IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, health care and medicine. To qualify for an H-1B visa in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:

• Have completed a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university
• Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree in the specialty occupation
• Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification to practice the specialty occupation
• Have education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree

Study: Winning an H-1B Lottery Visa Makes Startups More Successful

Hiring high-skilled immigrant workers can help U.S. startups get funded, win patents, and go public, says a recently published working paper, Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your High-Skilled Labor: H-1B Lottery Outcomes and Entrepreneurial Success:

Relative to other firms that also applied for H-1B visas, firms with higher lottery win rates are more likely to receive additional venture capital funding and to have a successful exit via an IPO or acquisition. H-1B visa lottery winners also subsequently receive more patents and patent citations. Overall, our results show that access to high-skill labor is a critical determinant of success for start-up firms.

Many businesses get a competitive edge by recruiting foreign business professionals for positions in their American company. The U.S. government issues work permits to at most 85,000 high-skilled immigrant workers every year via H-1B visas – 65,000 for applicants who have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and 20,000 for applicants with a master’s degree or higher. When the number of applicants exceeds the limit, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services can randomly grant visas through a lottery.

Godoy Law Firm’s experienced Illinois business immigration attorneys can assist foreign nurses and a wide range of professional occupation H-1B visa applicants. If you have a question about immigration employment in Illinois, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office. 

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