H-1B Applications Reach 2.01 Lakh, 42% Likely to Get the Visas -15th April, 2019

H-1B Applications Reach 2.01 Lakh

For the present Fiscal Year, the US Citizen and Immigration Services received 201,011 applications seeking the H-1B temporary work visas. The filing process had started on April 1st.  Among these applicants, 42% are likely to receive the visas. The reason is the US has a cap of issuing 85,000 fresh visas in the H-1B category every year.

A change in the norms

There is a change in the norms this year. It presently includes 20,000 H-1B visas reserved for master degree holders in the USA, in the initial quota of issuing 65,000 Visas. Till 2018, 65,000 visas were issued to applicants holding the bachelor degree and 20,000 were issued to for petitioners who had higher qualifications.

Also, in the present year, the proportion of applicants holding the advanced degrees to get H-1B visas will be comparatively higher. Indian IT companies, the major beneficiary of the H-1B program, proclaim that the quota for master degree holders was partial to the tech firms in the US. The total applications in H-1B in 2018 were 190,098.

The scenario is changing

Many companies have a decline in the filings, and the demand from IT companies in India appears to low. Moreover, there was a 49% decline in the Visa approvals for Indian companies last year. Only 22,429 applicants received the H-1B visas in the top five IT firms. This figure was 43,957 in 2017. Their median salary was in the range of $74,000 - 90,000.

USCIS stated on April 5th that it had received a good response of 65,000 to reach the annual regular cap as mandated by the Congress. Also, the agency will accept and process such petitions that are exempt from this cap. Petitions that are filed for the present H-1B workers that were counted in the past in the cap, and who retain the cap number, get the exemption in the FY 2020 cap for this visa.

Conclusion

USCIS can also extend the time that a present H-1B worker can remain in the country. It can also alter terms of employment for present workers, or also permit present H-1B workers in changing their employers/work concurrently in the altered H-1B position.

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