The United States and Immigration Services on Friday announced that it has completed the implementation of the electronic registration system for H-1B visas, and applications will be accepted from April 1, 2020, for the next financial year.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
The initial registration period will open between March 1, 2010, and March 20, 2020. “The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will then be run on those electronic registrations,” the agency said.
“Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions”, it added.
The companies applying for H-1B visas for foreign workers for the fiscal year 2021 would have to register online and pay a processing fee of USD 10.
“The electronic registration process will dramatically streamline processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange, and will provide overall cost savings to petitioning employers,” the USCIS said.
Under this new process, employers seeking H-1B workers subject to the cap, or their authorized representatives, will complete a registration process that requires only basic information about their company and each requested worker.
In 2017, President Donald Trump sought 60 days from a US appeals court to “consider” its response in a case challenging Obama government’s decision to allow spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US, putting the jobs of thousands of Indians at stake.
The H1-B community, which includes a large number of Indians, had welcomed the move by the Barack Obama administration in 2015 to allow H4 visa-holders – mainly spouses of the H-1B visa-holders – to be gainfully employed.
USCIS will post step-by-step instructions informing registrants how to complete the registration process on its website along with key dates and timelines as the initial registration period nears.
H1B workers are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research organisation or a government research organisation are not subject to this numerical cap.
(With inputs from PTI)