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Applications for some of the highest paying H1B visa renewals are being denied

What's the highest salary you can get on an H1B visa? Given that salaries aren't capped the sky is, theoretically, the limit. However, as the U.S. government gets tougher on immigration, there are some signs that it's harder to get an H1B visa job on a very high salary than it used to be.

Publicly available information on H1B visa applications indicates that Google, Facebook and Amazon have had some of their visa renewals for very high paying roles refused in recent months. Deutsche Bank, however, managed to slip its own exceptionally high salary under the radar.

Google's renewal rejections included applications for a software engineer and a business analyst, both on $1.3m in Menlo Park California. The visas were to have begun in July 2020. A 'compensation associate' in Mountain View on a $985k salary also had his/her visa refused recently.

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At Facebook, an H1B visa renwal application for a software engineer on $2m that was due to start in February 2020 was refused. And at Amazon, a Seattle operations engineer on an $840k salary had his/her renewal application denied in February.

It's not unheard of for H1B applications to be refused: last year Google had around 60 refusals and Amazon had around 35. However, most refusals in 2019 were for comparatively junior staff: it's usually  to argue that a senior individual has the kind of specialized knowledge that merits a renewal or a transfer. This years' refusals suggest that might no longer be the case. 

Although some high paying H1B applications are being refused, there are signs that others are slipping through. Deutsche Bank, for example, has recently had an application approved for a New York managing director on a salary of $1.8m (starting August). Facebook has a software engineer on a salary of $1.9m. And Amazon has a level III programme manager in Seattle earning a salary of $1.3m. These roles are likely to pay stock bonuses too.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Sa
    Sane
    24 May 2020

    years ago no Indians would have turned up at your shores , in fact Indians were least interested in travelling outside of India or invading other lands, then the imperial policies of many nations destroyed the local economies and turned a once rich and peaceful culture into a mass of vultures , you think an h1b is going to stop Indians ? they will another way :)and then another .When you feel bad about foreigners coming in and destroying your way of life think about the native Americans, think about all the people that suffered colonization by white settlers - its payback time

  • Fr
    Friend of Earth
    21 May 2020

    I am sorry to hear that quite a few people are unhappy about the H1B visas. In fact you know what, me being an immigrant agrees to cancel this high skilled immigration program. I am sure all these so-called big companies like Microsoft, Google etc are not having good hiring managers at all. In my opinion, the government should penalize the hiring managers because they are the ones who opt for so-called High skilled immigrants on a visa. Whenever i see these discussion boards, i feel bad that I am taking over the job of someone living in this country. I am not sure why companies are paying high salaries, relocation expenses, and visa charges.

    Companies Spend , Visa Fee: $10,000, Relocation Expense: $20,000 to 75,000, Visa Renewals: $30,000, High Salaries: $ 120K to 800K

    It seems like employers are acting dumb to spend so much money on so-called high-skilled immigrants. All these visa holders, coming to a new country, leaving their families friends and start building a new home, family with a local neighborhood, just because some dumb hiring manager or management of a company thought an immigrant is the only option, for their companies innovation and sustainability

  • us
    user
    21 May 2020

    These are not salary numbers. See https://www.levels.fyi.

    Assuming these are total compensation numbers, positions with such high pay scales have extremely rigorous interview processes. Denying visas for such people is literally throwing away talent.

  • Di
    Dice Victor
    21 May 2020

    I am sorry to hear that quite a few people are unhappy about the H1B visas. In fact you know what, me being an immigrant agrees to cancel this high skilled immigration program. I am sure all these so-called big companies like Microsoft, Google etc are not having good hiring managers at all. In my opinion, the government should penalize the hiring managers because they are the ones who opt for so-called High skilled immigrants on a visa. Whenever i see these discussion boards, i feel bad that I am taking over the job of someone living in this country. I am not sure why companies are paying high salaries, relocation expenses, and visa charges.

    Companies Spend
    Visa Fee: $10,000
    Relocation Expense: $20,000 to 75,000
    Visa Renewals: $30,000
    High Salaries: $ 120K to 800K

    It seems like employers are acting dumb to spend so much money on so-called high-skilled immigrants. All these visa holders, coming to a new country, leaving their families friends and start building a new home, family with a local neighborhood, just because some dumb hiring manager or management of a company thought an immigrant is the only option, for their companies innovation and sustainability

  • Di
    Dice Victor
    21 May 2020

    I am sorry to hear that quite a few people are unhappy about the H1B visas. In fact you know what, me being an immigrant agrees to cancel this high skilled immigration program. I am sure all these so-called big companies like Microsoft, Google etc are not having good hiring managers at all. In my opinion, the government should penalize the hiring managers because they are the ones who opt for so-called High skilled immigrants on a visa. Whenever i see these discussion boards, i feel bad that I am taking over the job of someone living in this country. I am not sure why companies are paying high salaries, relocation expenses, and visa charges.

    Companies Spend
    Visa Fee: $10,000
    Relocation Expense: $20,000 to 75,000
    Visa Renewals: $30,000
    High Salaries: $ 120K to 800K

    It seems like employers are dumb to spend so much money on so-called high-skilled immigrants. All these visa holders, coming to a new country, leaving their families friends and start building a new home, family with a local neighborhood, just because some dumb hiring manager or management of a company thought an immigrant is the only option, for their companies innovation and sustainability

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