The H-1B Visa chances of US Master Degree holders have now increased. This is owing to the latest announcement by the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services. USCIS has now reversed the arrangement of conducting the ‘Masters’ and ‘Regular’ cap draw for the H-1B program.
The regular lottery will now be first conducted by the USCIS. This will increase the H-1B Visa chances of US Master or higher Degree holders. The yearly quota for the H-1B program remains unaltered at 85,000.
The changed process will result in a projected increase of 16% in the selection of H-1B recipients with a US Master Degree. This approximates to 5, 340 H-1B visas, as quoted by the Times of India.
USICS has also declared the prerequisite for employers to first digitally register with the USCIS in the period for designated registration. This is for those who intend to sponsor H-1B workers. Complete application for H-1B with supporting proof will have to be lodged only for registrations chosen in the lottery. This is in contrast with the existing practice that needs filing of all applications up front.
One feature of the new rule is the reversal of the draw order. It proposes that first the General draw must be conducted. It will put all the individuals eligible for the Masters’ cap through the lottery. After that, it will put qualified individuals through the lottery for Masters’ cap who are not chosen. The chances of those with a US Master Degree or higher will be enhanced through the reversed order.
Public comments will be accepted for 30 days. USICS aims to enforce the rule from 1 April 2019 for the upcoming filing season for H-1B. Nevertheless, the requirement for online registration can be deferred. This is if it cannot be implemented in time.
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