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US H-1B visa

Denial Rate of H-1B Visa at New Peaks

in USA Immigration by

Denial Rate of H-1B Visa at New PeaksAccording to H-1B Employer Data Hub, introduced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the rate of denial of H-1B petitions is at a very high level compared to last year’s figure.

When H-1B data was introduced, there were fears that it will generate negative attention towards firms and individuals with H-1B visa holders, but it has now proven to be very vital perhaps more than anticipated by USCIS itself. The data shows that USCIS denies an H-1B visa at a rate that is obviously without legal authority.

According to an analysis of USCIS data by a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), the rate of H-1B visa denial in the first quarter of 2019 is at an alarming 32% compared to the 5% seeing in the first quarter of 2015.

The denial rate for new H-1B petitions quadrupled between FY 2015 and FY 2018 from 6% to 24% according to the analysis. This is a stark contrast compared to what was obtainable between 2010 and 2015 when the rate of denial of H-1B petitions did not go beyond 8%.

Standard of Proof

According to attorneys and employers, the reason for the jump in denial rate is the increased standard of proof put in place by USCIS and its adjudicators. They said the new standard of proof for the approval of H-1B petition is not backed by any new law or regulation.

Managing partner of Goel & Anderson, attorney Vic Goel, said some of the policies of Mr. Trump’s administration, for example, the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order of 2017, have had serious effects on H-1B visas.

High skilled foreign nationals and international students are able to work long term in the US by getting the H-1B visa.

To get your possible Immigration options, approach Immigration News now, and we will also evaluate your profile with our Immigration experts and advise you whether you are qualified to apply or not.

H-1B Visa Nominations from IT Firms Likely to see a Steep Drop this Year

in Visas by

H-1B nominations may fall greatly this year From April, the filings of H-1B visa for FY2020 will be accepted by the US.

Normally, this period is greeted with excitement and displeasure on the other hand because only a few employees get nominated. But since 2017, this happiness has been replaced by uncertainty as the administration of Donald Trump have tightened the regulations governing visa, and this has resulted in more rejection and mass emigration of Indians from the United States.

As such, the grand American dream and the H-1B visa slowly began to lose its charm.

A project manager in a prominent IT company located in India, Karthikeyan Palanisamy said that the desire of obtaining an H-1B visa has 99.9% negativity, as individuals are no longer enthused with the prospect of being nominated for an H-1B visa due to the negativity surrounding it.

Rejected applications have risen in number

Statistics gotten from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) shows that in the last quarter of 2018, about 60% of companies that applied for a visa for foreign workers, were requested for more information. This is compared to 28% and 46% in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Approval rates for 2018 last quarter dropped to 75% as against 83% and 92% in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

Again, changes in the visa rules are set by the USCIS every few months. Hence, companies are decreasing the numbers of the nominations for H-1B, and even the employees are not even enthused about getting one due to the complications.

A project manager said that while about 10,000 – 15,000 nominations were always witnessed years back, this year is likely to have only 3,000 nominations and even at that, there is uncertainty about those who will get a visa and those who will actually travel if they did get the visa.

Therefore, the existing visa holders in the country are being utilized by the companies, rather than wasting resources. This is an advantage for those in the US as demand is high, but the supply of talents is low especially in Machine learning, cloud, and Artificial intelligence.

Apart from all these, the IT employees are no longer interested in working in the country anymore; hence, they are now looking for a non-US visa which they consider less stressful.

H-1B Visa Process Trivia

For H-1B visa, there is a cap of 20,000 for Master’s (only eligible for US Masters) and 65,000 for regular quota respectively.

H-1B papers filings begin from 1st April 2019. Once filed, the H-1B petitions are processed through a lottery process where the H-1B employees are chosen, though changes have been made recently to the processes of selection.

The processing fee, as of FY2018, for one H-1B visa varies between $1,600 and $7,400, with attorney fees in addition.

To get your possible Immigration options, approach Immigration News now, and we will also evaluate your profile with our Immigration experts and advise you whether you are qualified to apply or not.

Latest Announcement of Premium Processing of H-1B visa Creates Uproar

in USA Immigration by

Last minute H-1B visa announcement brings chaosAccording to Business Immigration Attorneys, an announcement on the premium processing by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), just before the deadline of H-1B visas filing on April 1 (less than 2 weeks), has created an uproar.

The greatest impact of this will be felt by the international students who want to obtain an H-1B visa in order to work in the country.

USCIS announced the premium processing current procedure on 19 March 2019. According to the Service, from 1st April, H-1B visa applicants under FY 2020 cap-subject, who request changing their status on form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) may ask premium processing by filling Form I-907(Request for Premium Processing Services) concurrently.

It also stated that the processing will not occur till 20 May 2019, which the public will be notified of.

With premium processing, an application will be completed within fifteen days with $1,410 as Surcharge. But, with the premium processing, it would take ten to thirteen months for decisions to be gotten from USCIS concerning H-1B cases.

Chaos and Problems

This newly announced set of processing has caused an uproar among business clients in various law offices.

According to William Stock of Klasko Immigration Law Partners ILP, the processing is for some H-1B visas cases not all, but a lot of cases which have already been sorted and finalized will need to be redone again with new forms attached.

It is ironic that the individuals who will benefit from the procedures will feel the most impact.

Stock said that those who will gain from the petitions of H-1B, especially the University graduates in the United States, will prefer to use premium processing to file their petitions, as this will result in with them getting a petition receipt emailed them.

According to him, the only significant difference for the beneficiaries is that they will get emailed petition receipt while others not under the premium processing will have to wait for 2 weeks for the receipt to be mailed.

A Partner at Parker, Butte and Lane, Dagmar Butte, said that even though the processing will bring put the students’ minds at rest, it will be problematic for the International students as subsequently, they will be asked to bring Request for Evidence & probably Notice to Appear if they cannot prove that they maintained a nonimmigrant status always.

Today, the administrative action on immigration is being viewed from what happened 2 years ago. Requests for Evidence increased in those few years, as well as policy actions which were designed to prevent highly skilled foreign citizens from being hired in the country and also rising denial rates.

Hence, the presentation of a policy by USCIS on such short notice to harden situations for the holders of H-1B visa, United States employers and international students isn’t surprising.

To get your possible Immigration options, approach Immigration News now, and we will also evaluate your profile with our Immigration experts and advise you whether you are qualified to apply or not.

US Immigration Policy has Employers Looking to Canada for Job Growth

in Canada Immigration by

US Immigration Policies Make Companies to Move to CanadaWith the employment-based immigration programs in the US falling immensely, companies have been turning to Canada, a friendly country, as an alternative, seeking foreign talents in the nation’s race to be a more powerful technology hub.

In a recent Harris poll, 65% of employers expressed that immigration policy in Canada is considered to be more favorable than the US.

Harris was enlisted by a tech firm Envoy to survey more than 400 companies of different industries in the US. It was seen that there was agitation among the American companies that relied on the Immigration programs to fill their shortages in the tech field.

Canada on the rise

According to the CBRE report, more tech jobs were added by Toronto than Washington DC, Seattle and Silicon Valley combined. This is not surprising as the country has been marketing itself with its accommodating immigration policy, especially when it was announced that the country plans to receive about 350,000 foreign migrants yearly.

From Envoy’s survey, 35% of the employers said that more employees are being sent to Canada and more immigrants are being hired. Also, 38% of companies have considered expanding their businesses in Canada.

Meanwhile in the United States

Since the announcement of the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, President Trump has been firmly controlling the US legal immigration system.

Programs like H-1B visa, which has gone through changes have made some companies jumpy, especially the big technology companies which drew its benefits from there. Only 12% of survey respondents replied that the Immigration system in the US had no impact on their companies.

Inefficiency and uncertainty were the most commonly cited frustrations received by the Immigration process.

Despite all the concerns regarding the Immigration policy in America, about 80% of employers still hold an exception that their foreign citizens’ headcount will either increase or remain the same in 2019.

To get your possible Immigration options, approach Immigration News now, and we will also evaluate your profile with our Immigration experts and advise you whether you are qualified to apply or not.

New H-1B System Favours Foreigners in US Colleges

in USA Immigration by

New H-1B System Favours Foreigners in US CollegesProfessionals with higher education from countries like India and China could be impacted as a new H-1B visa filing rule was announced by the United States. Under the new rule that will commence in April, foreign workers that have advanced qualifications from universities in the US will be given priority.

H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa used by companies in the US when recruiting foreign workers for specialty occupations requiring technical or theoretical expertise.

This final rule reversed US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) order of selecting H-1B petitions regular cap and advanced degree exemption.

Benefit for Both Employers and Employees

The new rule which was published in the Federal Register on Thursday includes the introduction of electronic registration requirement for petitioners filing H-1B petitions among other things. It should be noted that the electronic registration requirement will not be used for the 2020 fiscal year according to USCIS.

The director of USCIS, Francis Cissna, said these simple but smart changes are of great help to all parties involved – employers, foreigner workers and agency’s adjudicators.

The new rule is according to Mr. Trump’s promise earlier this month. He promised to change the visa in a way to holders stay in the US and hasten citizenship process

It will reduce the overall costs incurred by employers as well as enhance government efficiency according to the director. He said the new rule is a representation of the agency’s work with the president to improve the country’s immigration system.

H-1B visa is valid for three years and renewable for another three. 65,000 H-1B visa is granted annually with another 20,000 reserved for people with advanced degrees from US higher education institutions. Often, the lottery system is triggered when the demand for this visa exceeds the supply.

To get your possible Immigration options, approach Immigration News now, and we will also evaluate your profile with our Immigration experts and advise you whether you are qualified to apply or not.

US court takes on DHS over OPT STEM

in Immigration/USA Immigration by

US court takes on DHS over OPT STEM

NEW YORK: A recent US court ruling has made it amply clear that the US government’ OPT stem policy is due to be overhauled and the recent expansion, may soon be rolled back altogether. The recent ruling could well impact tens of thousands of overseas workers, currently employed at IT firms on a student visa and may well result in them being repatriated back to their home countries.

Currently, the department of Homeland security or DHS made it possible for undergraduates currently on F1 visas and graduating with certain STEM degrees to get Optional Practical Training (OPT) work licenses, valid for a period as long as six years, equal to H-1B visa holders. This has come into effect after on February 12, 2016, and while the current court ruling does restrict OPT extension it nevertheless makes it possible for certain STEM undergraduates to obtain a work permit and to remain in the US for a longer period of time…

The decision by U.S. Area Court Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia, on August 12, was an exemplary instance of a one-two punch for the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WATW). They really won the claim they had sought against permitting F1 visa understudies graduating with STEM degrees extra OPT time – but with DHS making it amply clear that they want the OPT on par with H 1 visa program, they are bound to argue against the current court ruling and may even appeal the same.

That is on account of the fact that undergraduates bring in more work, are more productive and contribute more to the host country and if the current OPT programs are scrapped, this would lead to students seeking opportunities elsewhere.

The judge, because of the WATW claim to cut short the extra seventeen months of Optional Practical Training for those undergraduates who graduate from certain disciplines, and to restrict it to only twelve months, decided that Government must abandon the current expansion which became effective from last February.

The judge confirmed that the standard used by the Department of Homeland security was inadequate on the grounds that the office neglected to distribute guidelines, and follow official process as mandated by Federal laws, as indicated by Seyfarth Shaw, an immigration law firm.

Recognizing that rolling back the expansion right away would be problematic and hurtful to the nation as a whole the judge decided to give the government some time to come back with a proposal, a period amid which DHS may present the guideline for legitimate open notice and remark to “cure the imperfection”. Meanwhile, DHS has petitioned the court to extend the time for a few more months, by which time they would present arguments in support of their position regarding OPT policies. At the moment, any undergraduate on F I visa, and who have completed one of the disciples shortlisted for STEM, can apply for the OPT program, with a year for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related projects – or 29 months, for STEM-related projects.

Recently, the DHS began to give work licenses to certain H-4 visa holders who meet the required criteria, as set out by DHS. It’s additionally vital to recall that opposition for H-1B visas has expanded considerably. In 2016 H-1B met its cap within a few months itself, about 65,000 H-1B visas for gifted laborers from abroad and 20,000 visas for F1 undergraduates. The USCIS got roughly 233,000 H-1B petitions, about three times the quantity of accessible visas.

US H1B Visa 2016 News Updates and FAQs

in Immigration/USA Immigration by

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The USCIS received a large number of H1B petitions over the last few weeks, well above the upper cap. According to the US H-1B visa news, random selections along with the lottery was conducted by the USCIS to select over 85000 H-1B petitions in order to complete the work permit cap. So if you are planning to apply for H-1B visa for the next year, you must be wondering about the US H-1B visa quotas for next year. Well, here’s what you need to know about US H-1B visa, the process involved and the criterion for selection.

When will the fiscal year of 2016 for the US H-1B session begin?

According to the US H-1B news and updates, the USCIS started accepting the petitions from April 1st, 2015 itself. On March 12th USCIS also did a press release providing everyone with the details.

Lottery system

There was a lottery for FY 2014 and 2015. Where around 125,000 petitions were filed in FY 2014 and 172,500 petitions were recorded in the year of 2015. As per the news H-1B quota expectedly did not increase for FY 2016, whereas the demand for the same is pretty high.

How to Plan for US H-1B Visa?

Well, it completely depends on what your situation is.

  •    In case you are the student and you are currently on the F1 visa in USA, then all you need to do is register for certain internship programs or apply for OPT employment at a company that can really help you by sponsoring your H-1B visa for the required fiscal year.
  •    If you are a resident of some other country and are planning to apply for the H-1B visa for next year, then it is better for you to start your application process around the end of this year itself. This will provide you with enough time to search for your sponsors, jobs or whatever is required.
  •    If you are already on the H4 or L1 visa in the USA and now you are planning for the H-1B US visa for the coming fiscal year, then here you should consider planning the process around the end of this very year.

What are the new changes introduced in H1B Visa?

There are certain proposed changes to the H-1B visa programs that cater to demand and US economy and these changes are tagged as the Comprehensive Immigration reform.

Below mentioned are certain proposed changes:

  • The H-1B work permit cap is expected to be increased from 65,000 to about 110,000 per year. Along with the certain provisions may have it up to 180,000 where there is an extreme demand.
  • In the case of Advance degree from the USA work permit cap quota is expected to increase from 20,000 to about 25,000.
  • The fee for applying for the H-1b visa might go up to about 10,000 USD.
  • New rules have also been added to avoid any fraudulent moves by the employers while applying for H-1B US Visa.
  • From now on it is compulsory to have LCA posting 30 days before it is been certified.
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