USCIS Has Changed The H-1B Visa Filing Process

Before now, there was usually an annual rush to file H-1B cap-subject visa petition during the first five business days in April. But this rush would be a thing of the past as the USCIS makes a profound change to the H-1B visa filing process.

The new process enjoins employers to pre-submit applications online for the H-1B visa lottery. Such an online application requires submission of minimal info per visa request. It’s not until an applicant has been shortlisted and selected from the lottery pool that such an employer can file H-1B erase cap-subject positions as it was done in the past.

The aim of the new e-prefiling registration system – as the USCIS posits- is the simplification and uncluttering of the H-1B visa filing process.

Just as well, the new system would aid the cutting of costs incurred by employers of labor that bear the burden of visa filing for prospective employees. This fundamental change since the visa filing policy inception in 1990, helps employees cut costs in that, instead of employers front-loading all H-1B visa application all at once, they’d only have to provide minimalistic info at first, and complete info in the second stage.

So, for example, if an employer desires to make applications on behalf of 50 H-1B visa applicants, they now would need to spend so much on making the application on behalf of all 50 applicants, praying that they all get selected. But in the new system, what is required is that minimal info is given for the lottery regarding the 50 applicants. When lottery results are subsequently released, complete information is then given on behalf of the selected ones out of the 50 applicants.

In all, everyone agrees that the new electronic free prefiling system put in place by the USCIS is a commendable and significant change that if implemented smoothly, will go on to enhance the H-1B visa selection process for all stakeholders.

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  • February 20th, 2020
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