On April 5, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced regarding reaching the 65,000 H1B visa limit for the FY 2020 within five days. The agency has reported a five percent increase in the quantum of applications in comparison to the previous year.
The H1B visa serves US companies in recruiting overseas workers for special occupations that require technical/theoretical expertise. The US technology sector, involving US-based Indian firms, depends heavily on the H1B scheme for hiring thousands of workers annually. USCIS has now received many petitions necessary to reach the 65,000 H1B visa cap as per the mandate of the Congress for FY 2020.
USCIS Additionally it had started to accept H1B visa applications for the next Fiscal Year on April 1, 2019. It commences on October 1, 2019.
The USCIS has not disclosed the exact number of H1B visa applications which it received in these five days. Presently, it will assess if it has received an adequate number of applications for meeting the 20,000 H1B visa, reserved for US advanced degree exemption. Furthermore, the agency will return the visa fees to the unsuccessful, candidates. This is not applicable to the persons opting for multiple filings. It will also, continue to accept/process applications that are exempt from the quota.
H1B petitions for the past Fiscal Years
For the FY 2019, it received 190,000 H1B visa petitions subject to a cap. In, FY 2018 it received 199,000 applications. In 2017, the figure was 236,000 and for 2016, it was 232,972 applications. Finally, for 2015, the applications were 172,581.
Additionally, in FY 2020, there are changes issued by the US Administration, giving preferential treatment to applicants who have a post-education degree received by studying in an educational institution of the USA. Moreover, in the new system, USCIS will select H1B petitions that are submitted by all beneficiaries, including such applications presented by persons eligible for exemption in the advanced degree. After this selection, it will select from the remaining eligible petitions.
Benefit to US Universities Master’s degree holders
Subsequent to these changes of counting the allocations such persons who hold a master’s degree (or higher also) from a US educational institute are likely to get the H1B visa. Furthermore, these changes will lead to an increase of 16 percent among the selected applicants for H1B.
1. Francis Cissna, Director, USCIS, stated that these smart changes will positively benefit the employers, as well as the foreign workers who they intend to employ. This will also help the H1B visa program to work in a better way. US employers stand a better chance to select better professionals for new H1B visas.
An America first approach
In April 2017, President Trump issued the Executive Order instructing the Department of Homeland Security to introduce new rules and guidelines for protecting the interests of local workers while administering the immigration system. There was a mention of the H1B program in the order. It ensures that the top skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries get the H1B visas.