New Delhi: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed changes in the popular H-1B visa lottery system, through which they select 85,000 applications every year out of a larger pool of H-1B applications, the Times of India reported.
From this April, which is the filing season for H-1B applications, companies looking to hire foreign workers to work in the US have to pre-register electronically for the annual H-1B lottery, and then file ‘full-fledged applications'(also known as petitions) for the winners, the ToI report said.
However, under the current practice, petitions have to be filed upfront, along with all supporting evidence, just for entry into the lottery. The documentation is exhaustive, mainly for IT service companies, who send their employees to work on client locations through this visa. But the proposed changes will benefit these companies as it will save administrative cost for these sponsoring companies, the daily added.
These changes have already been approved by the US Office of Management and Budget a unit of the US president’s executive office, the publication said. It is feared that the new rules will give the USCIS more leeway in deciding who can work in America.
Every year, only 65,000 H-1B visas are allotted under the regular cap while an additional 20,000 visas are allotted to applicants having a master’s degree from US universities. For the 2018-19 season, the US agency received 1.9 lakh applications. Indians typically garner more than 60% of the H-1B visas. Tech companies like Cognizant, TCS, Infosys and Wipro are among the top hirers.
The draft proposal will be finalised after it is published in the US Federal registry and public feedback are received and analysed on it. This process may take another 3-6 months, the daily added.