If you’ve ever had to deal with US immigration authorities, you likely know that it can be extremely difficult. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is large and convoluted and there is endless red tape that you have to get through for even simple requests. For many organizations, it’s more than just an inconvenience. Immigration law challenges can cause huge problems within companies and even potentially cause them to miss out on significant opportunities.
There are endless examples of companies facing problems bringing in the talent they need to get jobs done properly. One of the biggest issues companies have is bringing in high-tech talent through the H-1B visa. This visa is designated for specialty workers who are coming into the country for work. Major companies like Google, Facebook, Intel, and others put in requests for thousands of H-1B visas each year. Unfortunately, the US Immigration Services only allows a set number to be approved.
Last year that number was 85,000. The agency received approximately twice as many requests as they could approve, which means many companies were unable to bring on the talent they needed to do their business the way they wanted.
Ending Instagram Before It Began
One of the most famous examples of companies having trouble related to the H-1B visa is Instagram. Before it exploded in popularity, it was a small startup tech company run by Mike Krieger. Krieger was a native of Brazil and living in the US while he studied at Stanford University on a student Visa. After he graduated he began working for Meebo, where he got his H-1B visa.
After a few months, however, he wanted to leave Meebo to focus on his own social networking idea, which would become Instagram. He filed the proper paperwork to get his H-1B visa transferred to the new company (Systrom, who he was working with on this project). The Visa transfer was taking months to be processed and he was facing the very real possibility that he would not be able to remain in the country. He even considered telling his Instagram partner to find another partner since he may not be able to stay in the country.
Fortunately, with the help of an immigration attorney, he was able to get the Visa transferred and Instagram eventually became one of the most popular social networks on the market. Unfortunately, not all immigration stories have such a happy ending. Many don’t hire an attorney and end up having to leave the country. We’ll never know what types of businesses never got off the ground because of these types of immigration related issues.
If you are facing problems with an H-1B visa, or any other type of immigration issue, it is essential that you have an attorney fighting on your behalf. Please contact us today if you’d like to learn more!