US Accepting New H-1B Visa Petitions From April 1

Vastavam web: The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would start accepting new H-1B visa petitions for the fiscal year 2020 starting April 1, the media reported. The employment start date for these visas would be October 1, the American Bazaar daily reported on Monday. Like previous years, the regular visa cap limit for H-1B this year remains at 65,000.

Additionally, another 20,000 petitioners, who possess a Master’s, or a higher degree from a US university, will also get the visas. But, according to many lawyers, this year may be extraordinary, mostly because of the continued scrutiny as well as some subtle rule changes announced earlier this year. In January, the USCIS introduced a change in the order in which allocations would be counted. According to the USCIS, the new change would result in an estimated 16 per cent rise, or an increase of 5,340 workers, in the selected H-1B petitioners with an advanced US degree.

Florida-based paralegal Vishal Ghadia, told the American Bazaar: “In the last six years, USCIS has received enough H1-B applications to fill the 85,000 cap within the first five working days of the month of April. This time, too, we can expect the cap to reach within five days and the number of H-1B applications similar to last few years.” However, some lawyers have said that that an apparent crackdown on H-1B and the overall negative sentiment around immigration would reflect on the filings.

Meanwhile, Kansas City-based attorney Rekha Sharma-Crawford said that due to “the administration working overtime to limit all immigration, there is an uncertainty to the H-1B season this year”.