US Amends H-1B Working-Visa Rules

USCIS H-1B New Rules

At a time when the top US tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and others are lobbying for a lift on the annual H-1B visa cap, the USCIS has announced new rules for existing H-1B visa holders. And if the reports are to be believed, the changes are neither of benefit to H-1B holders nor the firms that employ them.

The application process has been made more expensive and could cost employers handsome amount to hire and retain foreign workers. It would even cost them to transfer foreign employees from one job location to another within the US.

The guidelines laid down by the USCIS say that companies that employ foreign workers must file an amended visa application with a Labour Condition Application (LCA), if there is a shift in work location compared to what’s covered by the Original Visa.

The amended visa application fee would be $325. Earlier H-1B holders only filed a Labour Condition Application with Department of Labour without any fee. But this won’t be the case anymore once these rules come into effect.

USCIS has called for comments on this draft and only after analyzing the comments, the new rules will be implemented on/after June 26.

The USCIS has given 3 months time till August 19, to employers to file fresh petitions for foreign workers who have moved from one location to another. Employers who moved their employees before or after May 21 must have to file the petition.

The Wall Street Journal reported Gagan Sabarwa, Director for Trade And Development at Nasscom, saying, “The retroactive clause is the biggest concern the industry has.” He also said, “Companies can’t wait for the decision, which will only give them less than a month’s notice to be able to make changes to thousands of petitions.”

 Source: The Wall Street Journal | The Times of India

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