How to Apply for an H-1B Visa: New Changes
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has made another announcement related to changes to the H-1B CAP process that affect how to apply for an H-1B visa. Below you will find an explanation of the historic process of the H-1B CAP “season”, the changes announced earlier this year, and the most recent announcement that affects how to apply for an H-1B visa. You can also contact our immigration attorney at Fortini Laing Law who can better explain the changes to you.
H-1B CAP Process to 2019
Classically, or since the CAP process was implemented, an employer wishing to file an H-1B CAP-subject visa petition was required to submit a full H-1B visa petition by April 1st. The H-1B visa petition was then entered into the H-1B lottery. If USCIS chose the petition from the lottery, USCIS would then proceed to process the petition to see if the candidate was indeed eligible for an H-1B visa.
H-1B Changes Announced for 2019-2020
On January 31, 2019, USCIS announced that starting in the 2019-2020 H-1B CAP season, employers would be required to electronically register with USCIS as employers who intend to submit an H-1B CAP subject visa petition on behalf of a potential employee. USCIS would then pick from these names in a lottery, and notify employers whether or not they had been chosen. Those who were chosen would then submit their petitions by April 1st. USCIS suspended this rule for the 2019-2020 season. USCIS has not announced whether the rule will go back into effect for the 2020-2021 H-1B CAP season.
New Proposed Rule
In early September, USCIS announced and posted in the Federal Register a new rule. The new rule requires employers that register electronically to pay $10 for each H-1B visa registration. USCIS will hear comments on this rule until October 4, 2019, so whether the rule is installed remains to be seen.
What does this mean for those who are trying to find out how to apply for an H-1B visa? If you are looking for a work visa or specifically an H-1B, or you are an employer who is thinking about submitting an H-1B visa petition, our immigration attorney at Fortini Laing Law can advise you as to your options.