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H-1B Delivery Problems at Vermont Service Center

In this firm’s Fall 2014 Newsletter, we discussed the situation with foreign professional workers applying for H-1B work visas.  There are only 85,000 of those visas available per year.  Recently each year, companies have used up all 85,000 visas during the first week they are available. The government then conducts a random lottery to pick the “lucky” winners. American companies that lose have to do without the employees for now.

The absurdity of this situation is highlighted again in the recent spate of H-1B filings on April 1st, with employers requesting work permissions commencing on October 1, 2015.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) informs us that it  received reports from member immigration attorneys, who were unable to confirm delivery of their H-1B petitions shipped via FedEx for delivery on April 1st to the USCIS Vermont Service Center or the USCIS California Service Center.  Upon contacting FedEx, some attorneys were advised that the 2 USCIS service centers had reached capacity and were thus “turning delivery trucks away.”

AILA contacted USCIS Headquarters and the individual service centers about this issue and were advised by all parties that neither service center had turned any delivery trucks away and deliveries have not been negatively impacted.  Due to space limitations at the delivery loading docks, incoming trucks may be staggered for delivery but they are not being turned away.  At the Vermont Service Center, trucks are lining up at a nearby gas station and are being called in one by one. The Vermont Service Center is working closely with local FedEx to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.

Why doesn’t Congress solve this problem by raising the “cap” on H-1B visas per year to the 135,000 permitted during the “tech boom”?  This seems like a fix that could receive bi-partisan support.

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