Be Aware! H-1B Visa Rules are Changing!

February 04, 2019

Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced a rule change to H-1B petitions, with a specific focus on those eligible for the advanced degree exemption. According to the USCIS announcement, the rule change “…reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.”

USCIS Director Cissna claimed that the rule changes were meant to give those with graduate degrees a better chance of selection during the H-1B lottery and to make the visa system as a whole more efficient and lower cost. The department estimates that the increase in selected petitions of master’s degrees holders will be 16%. Overall, this will help US companies fill more specialized roles with foreign workers. These changes will be effective on April 1st.

All of this is part of the Trump administration’s goal of reforming the visa process to favor more qualified or higher skilled workers, with more changes likely over the next few years.

For any worker trying to get an H-1B visa, regardless of their educational status, it is vital to get qualified legal representation as soon as possible. The changes to both the selection system and petition process can be vital in properly applying for the visa, and so it is critical to have experienced help.

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