Uncertainty in New Process for applying for H1B Visas for Professional Employees in 2020
As many already know, the H-1B Visa Procedures will be somewhat different for the 2021-2022 period, particularly for those filing initial applications, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption.
While the basic H1B requirements and structure remain the same: the beneficiary must have a job offer for a position which is professional and requires a 4 year college degree; the beneficiary must have a bachelor degree or experience in the field of employment equivalent to a bachelor degree; companies (petitioners) are still required to pay a salary that meets or exceeds the “prevailing wage” and offer working conditions that are prevalent in the professional field and geographic location where the job will be performed; companies are still required to obtain approval of a Labor Certification Application (LCA); and the petition will ultimately be submitted to USCIS on a Form I-129 and Form I-129H Supplement, the timing of those submissions and by who they can be submitted is different.
Since the advent of the “H1B Lottery,” companies / employers submitted complete H1B petitions on the 1st days of April, in the hope of having their application selected, but those days are gone. According to what the USCIS has announced, employers applying for H-1B visas and their representatives may create accounts starting on February 24th, 2020, and will be required to register each prospective beneficiary for the lottery for an nonrefundable fee of $10.00, starting at noon ET on March 1, 2020 through March 20th 2020. The lottery selection will be done after the registration period closes, so it is not required to register on March 1st. If a registration for a prospective beneficiary is selected for an H1B Visa, then the company will be able to submit a complete application.
The USCIS claims that this registration process will only require basic information about the petitioner and the requested employee, but at this point it is unclear how this procedure work and how it will impact employers and prospective H1b Visa beneficiaries. One thing is certain, given the fact that the registration fee is small and it is purported to require little effort on behalf of the employer, there will be an increased number of applications, which without an increase in the number of H-1B visas available, serious employers and candidates will now face higher competition for these visas and lower prospects of being selected for one.
If you think you are eligible for an H1b Visa for Professionals, call our office to schedule an appointment with one our immigration lawyers at 617-303-2600 (ext. 0) or schedule your appointment online. We recommend you to schedule the appointment together with your employer.
Desmond P. FitzGerald and
The FitzGerald Law Company Team