US Unveils New H-1B Visa Criteria: Fresh Rules Effective October

Discover the latest H-1B visa selection criteria announced by the US, bringing transparency and fairness to the process starting October. Stay informed about the key changes.
US Unveils New H-1B Visa Criteria: Fresh Rules Effective October

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has unveiled a final rule aimed at enhancing the integrity of the H-1B registration process for the fiscal year 2025 (FY 2025) cap. This strategic move is designed to address fraud risks and foster fairness in the selection process. One of the key features of the final rule is the introduction of a beneficiary-centric selection approach, which ensures equal opportunities for all beneficiaries, irrespective of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf.

Under the new system, registrations will be selected based on unique beneficiaries, a shift that significantly reduces the potential for fraud while leveling the playing field for all participants. This beneficiary-centric model aligns with broader goals of transparency and equity in the H-1B visa program.

Starting from the initial registration period for FY 2025, USCIS will mandate registrants to provide valid passport information or valid travel document information for each beneficiary. This additional requirement is a proactive measure to authenticate the identities of beneficiaries and further fortify the H-1B registration process against potential malpractices.

The final rule also brings clarity to the stipulations regarding the requested employment start date on specific petitions subject to the H-1B cap. Notably, it allows for the filing of petitions with requested start dates after October 1 of the relevant fiscal year. This clarification streamlines the process and aligns it with practical considerations of employment commencement.

US Unveils New H-1B Visa Criteria: Fresh Rules Effective October
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Furthermore, the rule solidifies USCIS' authority to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if the registration contains false attestations or is found to be otherwise invalid. This provision serves as a deterrent against misinformation and underscores the agency's commitment to maintaining the integrity of the immigration system.

In tandem with the final rule, USCIS has also announced a Fee Schedule rule, which will be effective after the initial registration period for the FY 2025 H-1B cap. This rule delineates the fees associated with various aspects of the H-1B program, contributing to financial transparency and predictability for stakeholders.

To facilitate collaboration and streamline processes, USCIS will launch organizational accounts on February 28, 2024. This enhancement will allow for improved coordination on H-1B registrations, petitions, and associated forms. Moreover, online filing options for Form I-129 and Form I-907 for non-cap H-1B petitions will be available from the same date.

USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou emphasized that these improvements aim to make H-1B selections more equitable for petitioners and beneficiaries. The shift towards a fully electronic process from registration to the final decision is expected to enhance overall efficiency and transparency in the H-1B program, making it more resilient against fraudulent activities and ensuring a fair and streamlined immigration process.

US Unveils New H-1B Visa Criteria: Fresh Rules Effective October
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