H-1B visa application rules changes from next month: With new rules in force, the US government has started H-1B visa registration process online while applications will be accepted from next month. Companies applying for H-1B visa will have to register electronically first and then pay a $10 visa fee for each applicant. The new registration system has also significantly altered the lottery process. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues about 85,000 H-1B visas each year. Indians, mostly IT professionals,get around 70% of such visas.
5 things to know about new H-1B visa application rules:
- The electronic registration process for H-1B visa will run from March 1 to March 20. Companies will have to pay a fee of $10 for each candidate. The new visa application process is expected to streamline processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange. USCIS said the new rules will provide an overall cost savings to employers.
- The registration process requires only basic information about the employer and the employee. Details include beneficiary’s full name, date of birth, country of citizenship, gender and passport number. The employee would also need to job offer letter.
- H-1B visa applicants will now be randomly screened at the registration level itself. The USCIS will then notify the employer if their candidate has been selected so that they can file an H-1B petition within 90 days. The process of filing H-1B petition will begin from April 1.
- “By streamlining the H-1B cap selection process with a new electronic registration system, USCIS is creating cost savings and efficiencies for petitioners and the agency, as only those selected will now be required to submit a full petition,” USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans said.
- The number of new (initial) H1B visas issued each year are currently limited to 65,000 and an additional 20,000 H1B visas are available only to qualified foreign workers who have a master’s degree or higher from a US institution of higher education. The top 30 employers of the H1B programme are large information technology companies. “Approximately 66 per cent of the H-1B petitions approved in FY 2018 were for computer-related occupations,” according to the Department of Homeland Security data.