H-1B Petition Filing Predicted Unchanged for Washington D.C. and Columbus, Ohio Among Certain Other US Cities

The deadline to submit H-1b petitions subject to the annual cap for federal fiscal 2010 is April 1, 2009. Many employers are playing a game of “wait and see” as news of high unemployment rates and “gloom and doom” on the economic front are on the front page headlines. But when one looks at the facts, some cities have much better outlook economically than others. Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has offices in two of such “more fortunate” cities: namely Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio. But because of the economic conditions of these cities, our firm has instituted a system to handle a large volume of H-1b visa filing for the April 1, 2009 H-1b visa filing.

MarketWatch online magazine has ranked all major US Cities in terms of business opportunities. Minneapolis-St. Paul was ranked first. Among the top cities for business opportunities, the following cities appear: Boston, Ma., Denver, Co., Washington, D.C., Richmond, Va., Charlotte, N.C., Columbus, Ohio, Nashville, Tn. tied with Dallas, Tx., and San Fransisco, Ca.

There is another good reason to believe that H-1b petition filing and hence employment of foreign nationals will remain strong in these cities. Unemployment rates issued by by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for these cities remain well below the national average. It is a known fact that unemployment figures for high tech positions are at least half of the national averages. For instance, the unemployment rate for Washington D.C in October 2008 is 4.1%. Based on the aforementioned ad hoc formula, the unemployment rate for high tech positions in Washington, D.C. is about 2%. It is therefore expected that these cities will offer high employment opportunities for US citizens and foreign workers alike. With such low unemployment figures for these more fortunate cities, it is very likely that H-1B visa petition filings for employers coming out of these cities will remain unchanged.

Unlike other firms who are expecting less H-1B filings in 2009 due to the current economic , Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA is expecting our H-1b visa filing workload to remain the same. Our firm is well equipped for the 2010 H-1b visa filing season this year. We strongly encourage employers to contact our firm as early as possible so that we are able to place their cases in the correct path for filing by April 1, 2009.

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