Making a sweeping change to the H-1B visa application process, the Trump administration on Friday informed that a new procedure now requires applicants to preregister online for an initial lottery, before filling full petitions for high skilled foreign workers.
As per the changes made, employers must register between March 1-20 to determine who will be selected to apply for the visas. The situation will in turn allow holders to live and work in the US for up to three years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said Friday.
Under the previous system, companies applying for foreign workers filled the applicants’ full petitions, which costed thousands of dollars to enter a lottery system that usually begins on April 1.
USCIS said it is, therefore, on road to reduce the chaos. As reported, the employers can now pay as low as $10 to enter their employee’s name into the lottery. And those who receive a registration number can then submit full application with the fees, which can vary from $1000 to more than $6000.
“USCIS is creating cost savings and efficiencies for petitioners and the agency, as only those selected will now be required to submit a full petition,” USCIS Deputy Director Mark Koumans said.
On the other hand, the agency has also informed that it has successfully completed testing phase, which included session with multiple representatives, and a system of registration that will help reduce the paperwork.
However, some argue that with a low amount of finance and paperwork required to enter, the system will be flooded with many more application than usual. “People don’t have full faith in the government that this will work, until they’ve seen it work,” said Sharvari Dalal-Dheini, director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association and until recently a top lawyer at USCIS.
Responding to such arguments, USCIS informed that its system will filter out the applicant’s name who register twice and avoid any such confusions. As records state, about 200,000 applications for nearly 85,000 H-1B visa slots have been filed in the past few years.
Imperative to note that H-1B visa is one of the most applied application, the new step will not only provide equal opportunity to all, but also bring about a transitional change to the cause of paperwork for that matter.