The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that oversees legal immigration in the US, said that the initial registration period for the H-1B cap for fiscal year 2022 will be open between noon on March 9 and noon of March 25, eastern time.
In 2019, USCIS had made the process to apply for H-1B visas electronic. As part of this change, companies applying for H-1B visas for foreign workers will have to register online and pay a processing fee of $10 as a result.
Most commonly used by techies to travel to the US as part of client side work, H-1B visas have a cap of 65,000 for the general category, and allow a further 20,000 people who have a US master's degree from an accredited institution.
Indian technology services companies have for long been a beneficiary of the H-1B visa regime.
Under the electronic process, only those applications that are filed by prospective petitioners (employers) applying for H-1B visas for beneficiaries (workers/employees), along with a $10 fee for each beneficiary will be considered.
The US Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that the US will continue to allot H-1B visas this year through a lottery based system and not wage-based as the Donald Trump administration had proposed.
“If we receive enough registrations by March 25, we will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts. We intend to notify account holders by March 31,” the USCIS said in its communication early Saturday.
Under the Trump administration, getting an H-1B visa had become increasingly difficult, with rejection rates rising and the process becoming more stringent.