The United States has announced a fee hike on November 7 of $10 for the H1-B work visa applications as a part of its updated selection process. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services declared the 'final rule' of a non-refundable fee for each petition which will be charged for the petitioners and will be effective by December 9, 2019. According to the US, the new rule is part of an agency-wide effort in order to modernize and increase the efficiency of the application process to reside or work in the US. Under the H1-B Programme, US-based companies can temporarily deploy foreign workers in occupations that require a person of highly specialized knowledge, and a bachelor's degree or higher specific specialty.
The final rule, Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens, is effective Dec. 9. The H-1B registration system will be implemented once testing is complete & the fee will be required when registrations are submitted.— USCIS (@USCIS) November 7, 2019
Once the current announcement is implemented on the electronic registration system, applicants seeking the H1-B visa will first have to electronically register with USCIS in a designated registration period unless the requirement is later suspended. The final rule is announced to make the entire process easy for both the petitioners as well as the federal agency. The USCIS is slated to implement the changes in the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 of the H1-B selection process. After the formal decision, the implementation timeframe along with the initial registration period in the Federal Register will be announced by the agency. Moreover, the agency has invited public responses ahead of the announcement of the effectiveness of the rule for consideration before December 9. The USCIS Acting Director, Ken said that this will make H1-B 'more effective and efficient'.
“This effort will implement a more efficient & effective H-1B cap selection process. The electronic registration system is part of our initiative to modernize our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures & strengthening integrity.” -@USCISCuccinelli— USCIS (@USCIS) November 7, 2019
The restrictive immigration policies under the administration of US President Donald Trump have led to a drastic increase in the number of rejected petitions under the H1-B Programme. According to the study, the highest denial rate was recorded among major Indian IT companies. The National Foundation for American Policy's study based on data received by the USCIS revealed that the rates to reject the H1-B applications are most popular among Indian IT professionals with the rejection rate becoming 24 percent in the third quarter of 2019 as compared to just six percent in 2015.
(With inputs from agencies)