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Fashion Models and H-1B Visas

Apr 16, 2014 8:12:43 AM / by Staff Attorney

H-1B visas allow foreign workers in specialty occupations to work in the United States temporarily. It is a highly coveted visa program that is regularly used by engineers, scientists and business specialists who wish to travel to the United States and work here. These types of workers must have authorization from a sponsoring employer, they must be highly educated, and they must have unique skills.

H1B Visas
The H-1B visa is not, however, only for scientists and engineers. It is also the visa of choice for fashion models who wish to work here in the United States. In fact, a recent study conducted by two Bloomberg writers found that foreign fashion models are twice as likely to receive an H-1B visa as foreign computer programmers.

A number of years ago, Congress created a specific type of visa for performers and athletes so that entertainers would not have to compete with specialized workers for a limited amount of visas. Lawmakers had not, however, put fashion models in a separate category. Therefore, they were lumped into the same group as tech workers under the H-1B visa program. According to the numbers, this grouping has actually benefited fashion models.

Labor Department data culled by Bloomberg showed that 478 foreign applications were filed for fashion models in 2010, of which 250 were approved. During that same year, 325,000 applications were filed by those in computer-related occupations, of which only 90,800 visas were granted. That means that fashion models have a 51 percent success rate compared to 28 percent rate for computer professionals.

It is important to review these types of numbers because there are a limited number of H-1B visas available each year and they go fast. According to a recent report, the government received 124,000 petitions for 65,000 H-1B slots in the first week of the filing period. This means that half of the applications filed within the first five days will not even have a chance to be accepted.

Clearly, professionals who wish to receive an H-1B visa, whether they are models or programmers, will need help applying to increase their chances of being accepted into the program. An experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney will be able to guide applicants through this complex process. Contact the Immigration Law Office Los Angeles, P.C. today.

Topics: H1B

Staff Attorney

Written by Staff Attorney


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