Foreign nationals view the H-1B visa as the golden gate to furthering their career and building a new life in the United States. H-1B visa program permits foreign nationals to live and work in the United States in a specialty occupation for up to six years (although it is possible to receive an extension beyond six years if the person is in the process of applying for a green card.)
H-1B visas are numerically limited, as the USCIS only opens a total of 85,000 such visas each year (20,000 of which are restricted to individuals who have earned a master’s degrees or higher). This limitation is referred to as the H-1B cap.
Change in the lottery order for the 2020 season
The Donald Trump administration, via the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced a final rule for H1B visa applicants, which will be effective from April 1st, 2019. One of the notable highlights from this rule is that USCIS is changing the order in which the current H-1B petitions are selected in the lottery. In the revised rule, to determine the registrants, the first lottery is run to select the overall regular H-1B cap quota to fill 65,000 applications and then the lottery is run again to select the US masters’ quota cap for 20,000 applications. This revision is expected to progressively increase the number of applicants with a master’s degree to be selected.
Advantages to applicants with a master’s degree
According to the USCIS, applicants with a master’s degree typically earn 19.6 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree. So, the change in lottery order will ensure that only the higher paid and most skilled applicants are working in the United States on H-1B statuses. The revised lottery order will also result in 16% (approximately 5,340) more applicants with a master’s degree to be selected for H-1B petition filings. This rule is merit based as the new lottery order will undoubtedly increase the number of applicants with a master’s degree to be selected.
How does the new H-1B registration process work?
The final rule for H-1B visa means more stringent entry criteria at the very first stage along with the new norm of high difficulty level for visa extensions.
So, what do you think about the revised H-1B visa program?