H-1B Visa Applications

sof_2's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 93

Has anyone heard anything from HR in regards to H-1B applications this April?

As you know, the newly passed stimulus package includes much tighter provisions for banks to hire and apply for H-1Bs this spring.

How are you planning to handle the situation? Do you believe OPTs will be accepted now given that H-1Bs are almost out of the picture?

Thanks for the feedback

Comments (23)

Feb 21, 2009

OPTs will have to be accepted. As long as you have secured a job, you will be issued a job. Yes H1B is tougher to get this year. Many more applicants this year and a good 60-70% of the international bankers who applied will probably end up not getting a visa. Last year, there was a 50% chance, but this year it's probably going to be 30%. If you're a masters student, then you might be in a slightly better position.

Feb 21, 2009

The provision will only be valid for 2years, after Obama signs it into law. Basically, if you are a junior looking for an internship, the earliest time you will need a sponsorship would be April 2011. By that time, the H1B restriction has passed and you should be fine given no further legislation gets introduced. If you are graduating this year and you have a job already, you will be able to work under OPT for a year, but H1B next April might not be an option since all banks would have become H1-B dependent and it gets really hard to apply visas for their foreign workers. If you started last year and need visa sponsorship in April...things would be very tough. It might not be possible for you to stay in the states. You'd be better off talking to your employer to transfer you overseas and wait out the restriction.

Hope that helped.

Feb 21, 2009

xzhou is right.

Feb 21, 2009

By the way, I don't think the TARP rule applies to non-American banks. CS, UBS and Barclays will not be affected by this restriction, but it will still be very difficult.

Feb 21, 2009

What do you mean by "OPTs will have to be accepted"? Do you mean they will have to be accepted becasue H-1Bs will be almost impossible to get, or do you mean OPTs have alwasy been accepted?

I was under the impression that during the last two years, banks have been telling international students that only H-1Bs would be considered for full-time(even though, technically, OPTs would work as well for one year).

My only hope is that becasue of the new rules regarding H-1B applications for banks that have recieved TARP funding, the banks will reconsider and accept OPT for full-time positions.

I, however, have not heard anything from HR yet.

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Feb 21, 2009

OPT has always been used by the banks. If you are going to start work this coming July, then HR will not apply for a H1B visa because, you can only apply once you have started your job. What happens is that, you work under OPT for this period from June 2009 to June 2010 at which point, the firm will apply for a H1b visa. The application is made in April 2010, and you should be able to find out by early May or mid May if you have made it through the lottery. If you didn't make the lottery, then you will be expected to leave the country when your visa expires. What you seem to be referring to is whether you can start working with H1B from this year on. You can only apply for H1B once you have been conferred with a Bachelors/Masters degree. People who work in IT can work for 29 months but for banking or trading it's 12 months.

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Feb 21, 2009

indian-banker, I think your information is outdated.

Starting from last year, I've heard some investment banks actually revoked offers from intl students if they failed to get their H1B. One of my friends has her bank (one of the BBs) telling her that she cannot use OPT to work for the bank. She must get a H1B.

Historically, if you cannot get your H1B, the banks will send you to one of the oversea offices in Europe or Asia. But these days, banks are not willing to do that any more for two main reasons.

  1. Under the current market condition, no office has enough headcount
  2. With the strict H1B quota, there are so many failed applicants every year and to a certain extent, it actually becomes such a burden for the banks to relocate them
Feb 21, 2009

Also, if you are starting this summer, you can apply for H1B this coming April provided that your college is willing to write a letter to prove that you are guaranteed to graduate in May/June. I know a lot of ppl getting their H1B in this way. However, not all colleges are willing to produce this letter and in fact, many will not.

Feb 21, 2009
Ukon:

Also, if you are starting this summer, you can apply for H1B this coming April provided that your college is willing to write a letter to prove that you are guaranteed to graduate in May/June. I know a lot of ppl getting their H1B in this way. However, not all colleges are willing to produce this letter and in fact, many will not.

This I was not aware of. I'm most certain my University isn't willing to do this. It seems the odds of internationals working in the United States down the road seem to get smaller and smaller. You're right about some places revoking offers for internationals. For internationals wanting to work in banking in the future, their best is either HK, Singapore or Dubai. London is also pretty averse to taking internationals.

Feb 21, 2009
indian-banker:
Ukon:

Also, if you are starting this summer, you can apply for H1B this coming April provided that your college is willing to write a letter to prove that you are guaranteed to graduate in May/June. I know a lot of ppl getting their H1B in this way. However, not all colleges are willing to produce this letter and in fact, many will not.

This I was not aware of. I'm most certain my University isn't willing to do this. It seems the odds of internationals working in the United States down the road seem to get smaller and smaller. You're right about some places revoking offers for internationals. For internationals wanting to work in banking in the future, their best is either HK, Singapore or Dubai. London is also pretty averse to taking internationals.

From my understanding, universities are willing to write such letter if you have completed all your graduation requirements already but you are pursuing something else (minor, other major...). In other words, without changing your coursework, you would have been able to graduate sometime before April 1st. With such a letter in hand, you may apply for the H-1B this April 1st.

Feb 21, 2009

As for the 29 months and 12 months issue (OPT extension), you must satisfy these following requirements:

  • Currently be participating in a 12-month period of approved post-completion OPT
  • Have successfully completed a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM)
  • Be working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student's major area of study
  • Be working for, or accepted employment with, an employer enrolled in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' E-Verify program.
  • Properly maintain F-1 status.

The key feature here is the E-Verify system. You can pretty much manage all the other extension requirements except for this one. Whether or not your employer is in E-Verify system is beyond your control. Unfortunately as far as I know, few investment banks are in the E-Verify system and thus, most intl students who will be working for investment banks cannot use the extension rule.

Feb 21, 2009

on another note, i know that a good portion of my friends have used at least some portion of their OPT (since they interned one or two summers), so the whole idea of working for a complete year under OPT after graduating is somewhat unrealistic for a good slice of people

Feb 21, 2009

When you work in the summer, you use your CPT not OPT.

Feb 22, 2009
indian-banker:

When you work in the summer, you use your CPT not OPT.

I used CPT for the summer after my sophomore year. So I had to use OPT for my internship after my junior year........

I started on OPT in July 07, but was fortunate enough to get a visa.

Feb 21, 2009

only certain schools allow you to use CPT for summer internships, and usually under some weird guidelines

Feb 22, 2009

I thought if you get paid you have to use OPT, whereas if you're not getting paid for a summer internship, you can use CPT.

Am I mistaken?

Feb 21, 2009

Yes, you are mistaken.

The guideline on CPT from the US immigration office is very vague and is completely subject to the interpretation of your college. As a result of that, different colleges have very different policies regarding the use of CPT. It can be free use, restricted use or no use of CPT.

You should only speak with your own college regarding the CPT rule because the policy is independently made in each college and has nothing to do with CPT policy in another college.

Feb 21, 2009

the policy that tuaj mentioned is the one i have found to be the most popular

Feb 22, 2009

Yes, that's what my school told me. Had to use a good 3 months of my OPT last summer. damn.

Feb 21, 2009

if it makes you feel any better, i'm down 6 months

Feb 22, 2009

well if we can't use OPT after graduation, then I guess there's no harm using it...

Feb 21, 2009
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Feb 21, 2009
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