Department of Labor launches website to help H-1B employers

The U.S. Department of Labor has unveiled a new tool to help employers understand how to comply with a controversial visa program for foreign workers in specialty occupations.
The website-, describes the H-1B visa program's standards and provides detailed information about employers' and workers' rights and responsibilities. The new site outlines notification requirements, monetary issues, worksite issues, recordkeeping, worker protections and enforcement.
"The new online adviser harnesses technology to help take the mystery out of the new rules, and it offers an important resource to workers and employers alike," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a statement.

Foreign IT professionals coming to California on the decline

The number of skilled, temporary foreign worker visas issued for jobs in California has declined since the start of the recession, according to new data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
H1B visas have always been a hot topic in California. A large number of high-tech companies use them to fill positions, claiming that there's not enough available American help to fill the jobs. They've long infuriated local IT professionals who have been having trouble finding work.
But since 2007, the number of H-1B visas issued for work in California has fallen by 30 percent. In 2009, there were about 54,000 such visas issued, compared to 76,000 during 2007.
Nevertheless, California drew more temporary specialty foreign workers during 2009 than most other states, as the map below demonstrates. The District of Columbia has the highest per capita rate of these visas while Montana has the lowest.

Map showing H-1B visa distribution (click image to enlarge)

Current US H-1B visa count for 2010

US H-1B visas are one of the most popular temporary US visa categories for entry of professional level specialty workers to the US. In the past, many Indian IT specialists have gained entry to the US on the H-1B visa. When the US economy is doing well there is usually a shortage of US H-1B Visas.

Currently, there is still good availability of US H-1Bs. The last H-1B Count as on 9 July 2010:

If you have a bachelors degree or higher, and have a specialty level job offer in the US, your employer should consider applying for the US H-1B visa. The H-1B visa can be used for entry to the US for a start date of 1 October 2021 or later. Nobody can predict when the supply of US H-1B visas will run out. If you wish to work in the US it may be advisable to apply sooner rather than later for the H-1B visa.