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How Will the New H-1B Visa Process Affect Your Company?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services completed the pilot testing phase of the new H-1B visa process. They will begin implementing the registration process in the next H-1B lottery. Employers need to know what to expect when seeking to file H-1B petitions. The new system will hopefully streamline the H-1B visa process by reducing the paperwork and data exchange that caused delays in the past. Under the new process, employers must first complete a registration process with basic information about their company. They will then need to fill out basic information about each requested worker. Initial registration will run from March 1 through March 20, 2020. During that time, the H-1B random selection process will run. If selected, employers can then file H-1B cap-subject petitions for the fiscal 2021 cap.

What is the H-1B Visa?

Employers can seek highly skilled foreign workers to come to the United States and work. This visa is a temporary work visa that allows employees from specialty occupations to live and work in the United States. To qualify, the workers must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent job in a specific field like business, accounting,  mathematics or engineering The initial duration of an H-1B visa is three years. Immigration may extend this up to six years.

Filing a Petition as an Employer

Employers must submit their petitions for the pool of H-1B visa numbers. There is a statutory limit of 65,000 visa numbers available for new hires. There is a limit of 20,000 additional visa numbers for foreign professionals who graduated with a master’s degree or doctorate from a U.S. institution of higher learning. The cap is often reached quickly. In 2019, it only took five days for the number of petitions to reach the cap limit. This is because the demand for highly skilled workers exceeded the number allowed in by immigration laws. Once the numbers reach the cap limit, the USCIS holds a lottery to determine which petitions for H-1B visas get processed.

What Do Employers Need to Know?

The new system will hopefully streamline the H-1B visa application process. However, it is more competitive than ever to employ highly skilled foreign workers. Employers must register for the annual H-1B visa lottery with USCIS to determine if they can continue with the process. If cap-exempt or chosen for the lottery, they must then submit a petition on Form I-129. To better understand the new process, USCIS will post step-by-step instructions. These instructions will contain key dates and times to help them complete the registration process. We will have a separate blog that will describe the step-by-step instructions in detail. An experienced San Jose H-IB visa attorney can help you through this process and ensure that you have the best chance of success. Your business and the growth of your company may hinge on your ability to obtain talented and skilled employees. However, the process to bring a foreign employee over to the United States is difficult without legal representation.

Contact a San Jose H-1B Visa Attorney Immediately

If you have questions regarding the H-1B visa process, we can help. We offer customized and unique solutions for all our business clients. Immigration affects every business in California and throughout the United States. We work with companies to bring talented and skilled workers in through the H-1B visa program. At the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal, our law firm has assisted businesses, firms and corporations in the Bay Area and throughout California. Call us at (408) 542-0499 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information. We can help your business secure temporary visas for employees and their families.

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Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.

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