H-1B Visa: You must have read or heard about this visa type for permission to work in the United States of America. H-1B is a visa in the United States that allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in their specialty occupation. For foreign workers, it is one of the ways to seek work, followed by residence status. Every year, the lottery opens for H-1B visa on the first business day of April. This year, for 85,000 new H-1B visas, more than 190,000 applications were filled. H-1B visa slots are bifurcated in two sections where one is a general pool of 65,000 and the rest of 20,000 slots are for the candidates with master degree according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The government has introduced a change in the lottery system this year where the government allows the candidates with a master degree to apply for the general pool of 65,000 visas. Candidates that are not selected in the first lottery are allowed to apply in the second pool 20,000 visas. Hence, the applicants with a master degree have better chances of being selected for H-1B visas.
The changing system will be beneficial to employers as well. Currently, employers have to fill the full petition for the respective candidates who wish to apply for the H-1B visa. It consumes a lot of time from the employers’ side and yet it does not guarantee whether the candidates will be selected or not. In the new system, which will be applicable from next year, the employer will have to fill out a brief online form for each employee who wishes to submit their application for the visa. Once the candidates are selected, employers will fill out a full petition for approved candidates. Hence, it will save a lot of time and efforts.
Critics and leading business tycoons are not very supportive to the new H-1B rules as the American workers are often replaced with lower-paid H-1B workers; while leading businessmen have expressed their concern on the new immigration policy, especially regarding H-1B workers, and their US-employed spouse.