The US will start accepting applications for H-1B visas for the next fiscal year from April 1, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said yesterday and announced the launch of a new data hub to increase the transparency of the work visa program popular among Indian IT companies and professionals.
The American companies use H-1B visa to hire foreign employees in specialty occupations.
What is H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Data hub will be available on USCIS-website on April 1
The USCIS announced the new H-1B Employer Data Hub which will be available on uscis.gov on April 1.
The data hub is part of the USCIS' continued effort to increase the transparency of the H-1B program by allowing the public to search for H-1B petitioners by fiscal year, NAICS (the North American Industry Classification System) industry code, company name, city, state, or zip code.
Hub will allow people to calculate approval, denial rates: USCIS
The data hub will give the public the ability to calculate approval and denial rates and to review which employers are using the H-1B program, the federal immigration agency said.
Simultaneously, the USCIS said the premium processing will be offered in a two-phased approach during the next 2020 cap season.
The fiscal year 2020 will begins on October 1.
First phase will include only 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions
The first phase will include 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase will include all other fiscal 2020 cap-subject petitions, the USCIS said.
"The USCIS continually strives to improve the administration of the H-1B program and make it work better for employers, our agency, and US workers," said USCIS Director L Francis Cissna.
Committed to fulfill president's executive order, says Cissna
Speaking on US President Donald Trump's 'Buy American, Hire American Executive Order', Cissna said, "We're also committed to fulfilling the President's executive order."
"One of the principal goals of the order is to protect the interests of US workers in the administration of our immigration system, in part by promoting the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program," he said.
Under executive order, DHS reviewing regulations to protect American workers
As per Trump's 'Buy American, Hire American Executive Order', the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reviewing current guidance and regulation to protect the American workers while also providing good faith employers the opportunity to recruit H-1B workers where needed.
The director of the federal immigration agency said that the "new H-1B data hub will make information more accessible to the public."
Two-phased approach will make the process efficient for employers: USCIS
"The new selection process will help make the system more meritorious and better protect the wages of US workers. Additionally, our two-phased approach to premium processing will make the process more effective and efficient for employers and the USCIS," Cissna said.