US companies who desire to have foreigners work for them under the H-1B visa will be mandated to do an electronic registration for the yearly visa lottery program. The companies would then send in petitions on behalf of the qualified applicants.
The petitions would have to be sent beforehand, along with every supporting evidence to register for the lottery. The process of documenting can be very tiring, especially for employers in IT service companies whose workers with H-1B visas are placed at client sites.
This new procedure will significantly reduce the administrative cost for the hiring companies involved. It has been duly approved by the United States Office of Management and Budget a unit in the office of the President. Considering how protective Donald Trump's regime is, worries have arisen concerning the possibility of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) having more power in deciding who is qualified to work in the US.
Yearly, only 65,000 H-1B visas are released under the general quota or regular cap. The master's cap program provides 20,000 additional visas for those undergoing further studies in the US universities. Applications must be submitted on the first week of April, and in a few days’ time, the quota will be met because a random lottery system is being used.
During the 2018/2019 session, 1.9lakh applications were sent to the United States agency, with Indians occupying 60% of the applicants for H-1B visas. Companies with the highest hiring capacity include Cognizant, Infosys, TCS, and Wipro.
TOI had analyzed the fall agenda in the 19th October edition. In one of the items, electronic registration was deliberated, with prime focus on efficient management of selection and intake processes for H-1B applicants.
Steps on How to Change the H-1B Filing Method
- Firstly, obtain approval from the OMB.
- Publish the drafted copy of the proposal on the Federal Register
- Receive and examine the public feedback. This might take as long as three to six months. With these in place, the proposal is finalized.
According to the Director of the USCIS, Francis Cissna, employers are required to submit the applications beforehand to finalize the program on time for April 2019.
The managing attorney for NPH law group explained that the new procedure of registering beforehand and the recently added information needed in the Labor Certification form effected from 19th October is capable of being abused. His reason for such fear was that a criteria-based and closely examined process can replace the random mode of selection by lottery.
The content of the Labor Certification form
In the new Labor Certification form, employers are mandated to report if the employees with H-1B visas will be put at client (or third party) worksites. It also contains a part where the employers would have to offer information like the number of H-1B workers
in their establishments, the names, and addresses of the clients. Petitions from applicants who are placed at client worksites may be screened out. Nachman explained that the whole process could lead to discrimination among applicant companies.
However, an expert on Immigration who works in a Tech company stated that the fall agenda had indicated that changes would be made to ensure that only the highly skilled or highly paid employees receive the H-1B visa. According to him, the move was meant to raise the chances of getting the work visa
by people who have obtained their master's degree. He concluded by saying that the procedure of registering beforehand could merely be the way forward to achieve this.
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