In the future application season, A new and streamlined electronic registration system, having the earlier deadline will Replace the expensive and bulky H-1B application process, as per the statement of the federal government.
The Major Changes
In place of submitting the detailed as well as labor-intensive H-1B application for every overseas worker whom the company intends to hire, employers can send all registration documents that need basic information about the workers and the company as per the statement of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration.
The period of registration, for these H-1B applications having an annual cap of 85,000 on fresh visas, is March 1 to March 20. In case of sufficient registrations not arriving in the H-1B, the registrations will go through the lottery. The candidates with select registrations are eligible for filing the H-1B petitions.
In the earlier system, employers had to mail lengthy applications, costing thousands of dollars for preparation and filing fees, in the five-day window that started on April 1st.
The Present Scenario
At present, employers need to pay $10 for a registration, and also pay an application fee if the registration is selected through the lottery and candidates earn eligibility to apply.
The H-1B visa caters to jobs that need special skills, is the target for administrative reforms by the President resulting in boosting denial rates among the IT staffing and outsourcing companies. The major changes were delayed several times that make re-defining of qualifying jobs difficult, and there is a move to strip employment authorization favoring the spouses of H-1B visa holders.
Also the group of immigration lawyers as well as trade groups that represent IT outsourcing firms and technology giants warned about the electronic registration system as this would lead to technical glitches as well as working disruptions.
The Future will Decide the Steps
The authorities conducted the pilot testing phase successful. They will post step-by-step instructions that will help the registrants, provide important dates, when the registration period is near, and promise of public engagements and outreach activities so that the registrants and parties become familiar with the new system.
The agency will decide whether it is necessary to accept registrations or opt for an extra registration period if there are not enough registrations/petitions for reaching the numerical allocation. The lottery comes through if the demand exceeds the yearly cap of 85,000. In 2018 201,000 applications were received.
The US Homeland Security Department estimates that employers will pay $16-$31 for every registration, when it includes preparation costs. The cost of $10 fee for employers collectively will be $2.4 million, and their savings when the registration is not selected will be between $43 and $67 million.
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