New H-1B Visa Rules Will Make Getting Jobs in U.S. Harder for Indians

Currently, employers only need to file a petition along with all the necessary documents for the lottery.


New visa cap rules proposed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will make it harder for Indians to get H-1B visa to settle and work in the U.S.

The new H-1B visa cap, to be enforced by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), will now come with more paperwork and companies hiring foreign employees to work in the U.S. will now have to pre-register electronically for the H-1B lottery before they can submit a complete application for the foreign national.

Currently, the employers only need to file a petition along with all the necessary documents for the lottery. But for the fiscal year 2019, additional paperwork will be required, Business Standard reported.

USCIS said on its site, “We will begin accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2019 cap on April 2, 2018. You may file an H-1B petition no more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary.”

According to USCIS, a total count of 65,000 regular pool has been recorded for the H1B regular pool along with 20,000 caps for H-1B Master’s Exemption, as last counted on April 6, 2018. For the 2019 petition, employers need to submit applications by April 2019.

“On April 6, 2018, USCIS reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2019. USCIS also received enough H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visas the U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the FY 2019 H-1B cap,” USCIS wrote on its portal.

“This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied,” it added.

USCIS Director Francis Cissna said that the new rules are aimed at finalizing the proposal within the given time frame, Times of India reported.

David H Nachman, managing attorney at NPZ Law Group, told the publication, “The implementation of the pre-registration program along with the new information requested in Form ETA 9035 (Labor Certification Form)  which came into effect from November 19, has the potential for abuse because the ‘fair and random H-1B lottery’ may be relegated to a closely guided and criteria-driven process”.

Earlier this month an alliance representing Amazon, Google, Intel, Deloitte, and other major American companies wrote a letter to USCIS and Department of Homeland Security saying there has been a significant increase in the number of H1B visas being held up.

The coalition called “Compete America” pointed out that the increase in the number of H-1B visas being held up by the country’s immigration organization has been significant and also alleged USCIS of “acting outside of its own regulations.”

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