New H-1B Visa rules implemented, US reaches Visa-Cap for 2020

New Delhi: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that approves H-1B visa applications has said that it has reached the mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for the year 2020.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ professional foreign workers in the specialty with technical expertise and so does technology companies depend on it experts as such and hire huge manpower from India, China.

In its statement on Friday, the USCIS said “it has received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for the fiscal year 2020.”

As the fiscal year begins October 1, 2019, the USCIS said it started receiving the visa applications from April 1 but however did not reveal the exact number of applications received in the first five days.

Now the agency shall determine whether it has a sufficient number of applications to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa the US advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.

Moreover, the agency said it will reject and return visa fees for all the unselected cap-subject applications that are not prohibited from multiple filings.

Applications already filed for current H-1B workers that have been counted previously against the cap will still retain their cap number are exempted from the FY 2020 H-1B, the USCIS added.

Last year, the USCIS has received approximately 190,000 cap-subjected H-1B petitions while in the previous year it has received 199,000 applications.

This is the first season of H-1B petitions since the new rules have been enforced for foreign professionals.

The new modified rules gives preferences to those who have completed their post-graduation degree course from any US educational institutions.

“These simple and smart changes are a positive benefit for employers, the foreign workers they seek to employ, and the agency’s adjudicators, helping the H-1B visa program work better,” USCIS Director L Francis Cissna had said in a statement.

“The US employers seeking to employ foreign workers with a US master’s or higher degree will have a greater chance of selection in the H-1B lottery in years of excess demand for new H-1B visas,” Cissna said.

New reforms came into force after US President Trump in the year April 2017 had issued the ‘Buy American and Hire American Executive Order’ order instructing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of US workers in the administration of our immigration system.”