The Biden administration has proposed major changes to the H1B foreign worker program to make it easier for US work visa applicants. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will announce these new rules on October 23rd.
On the same note, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N Mayorkas said that “the priority of the Biden-Harris administration is to attract global talent, reduce undue burdens on employers, and prevent fraud and abuse in the immigration system.”
However, the prescribed annual cap of 60,000 H1B visas will remain unchanged as set by Congress.
What are the proposed changes?
The changes being considered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would change the selection process for H1B registration to reduce potential abuse and fraud.
Currently, the more registrations submitted for individuals, the greater their chances of being selected through the lottery. The proposed rule proposes that each person’s registration would be entered into the selection process once, regardless of how many registrations are submitted on their behalf, streamlining the process and seeking greater fairness and transparency, DHS said in a statement.
“This would improve the chances of a legitimate registration being chosen by significantly reducing or eliminating the advantage of submitting multiple registrations for the same beneficiary simply for the sake of increasing choice. In addition, it could provide beneficiaries with more choice among legitimate job offers, as any registrant who submitted a registration for a selected beneficiary would have the opportunity to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the beneficiary,” it said.
Strengthening integrity measures in addition to changing the selection process would reduce abuse and fraud in the H1B registration process by prohibiting related entities from submitting multiple registrations for the same beneficiary. The rule would also codify USCIS’ authority to conduct on-site visits and clarify that failure to comply with on-site visits may result in denial or revocation of the petition, DHS said.
Indian-American Ajay Bhutoria, a leading immigration reform advocate, welcomed the proposal to PTI: “These proposed changes are an important step towards streamlining our immigration system and making it more accessible for highly skilled professionals and students from around the world.”
The H1B program helps U.S. employers hire the employees they need to meet their business needs and remain competitive in the global marketplace while complying with all U.S. labor protection laws.
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