Facts to Know About H-1B Visa and its New Rules

The H-1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows non-us workers to work in specialty occupations. According to The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019. As per the administration, they want to revoke work permits for H-4 visa holders and most of them are Indian- Americans and women.

The move could impact more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders having work permits. These visas are issued to the immediate family members of the H-1B visa (the spouse and the children under the age group of 21 years). The DHS said that they will further propose to revise the definition of specialty occupation so that one can focus on obtaining the best through the H-1B program.

This will further revise the definition of employment and the employer-employee relationship to protect US workers and wages. In addition, the DHS will propose additional requirements designed to ensure employers pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders, the administration said. This is an important issue and they have highlighted the role that has been played by the highly-skilled Indian professionals who have contributed to the growth and development of the US economy and have helped the US to maintain its competitive edge in the world.

The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year as mandated by Congress. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a US master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. As an H-1B non-immigrant, the applicant may be admitted for a period of up to three years.

New rules:

• A US master’s degree will now increase your chances of getting an H-1B visa as the US has reversed the order of conducting the ‘Regular’ and ‘Masters’ cap lottery.
• Now, the regular lottery will be conducted first, giving those with a higher degree a second chance of winning the H-1B
• H-1 B visa will be granted only for that duration for which the beneficiary will have to do the specified work. There will be more paperwork as detailed documentation will be required.
• Currently, visas are granted for 3 years and an extension of three years is unsure.

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