Despite tighter norms, the US approves 389,000 H1-B visas this year
- The US approved more number of H1-B visas this year — both entry level and extension on work visas.
- According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it extended over 389,000 visas in 2019 fiscal — higher than 335,000 visas approved last year.
- However, the number of approved L1 visas — which are given to existing employees at technology firm to relocate to the United States — dropped to 71.9%, as compared to 77.8% last year.
- In a recent update, the US embassy said that the visa applicants should apply at least three months before the start of their employment.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it extended over 389,000 visas in 2019 fiscal — higher than 335,000 visas approved last year.
In the last four years, as many as 100,000 more visas rolled out. This is despite Trump government tightening visa norms. In spite of stricter norms, the demand for work visas continues to be high.
"It used to be that if the job requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree (or foreign equivalent) and the beneficiary (whose H-1B visa was being sponsored by the employer) possessed this qualification, the H-1B application was likely to be approved. Not anymore, as is reflected in the spate of requests for evidence (RFEs) and lower approvals post an RFE," Snehal Batra, Managing Attorney, NPZ Law Group told TOI.
However, the number of approved L1 visas — which are given to existing employees at technology firm to relocate to the United States — dropped to 71.9%, as compared to 77.8% last year.
Technology companies like Amazon, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have been most impacted by the new immigration rules. The renewal of work visas has also thrown up hurdles, has hurt Indian IT majors.
According to an ET report, the rejection rate for work visas has been increasing — with over 50% rejections during the first six months. While last year, TCS, Cognizant and Infosys faced the most rejections in extension of H1-B work visas, as per the Centre for Immigration Studies, a US-based think tank.
H1-B work visas are initially provided for three years — but can be extended for a similar term later.
The US embassy also said that applicants should apply at least three months before the start of their employment.
Applying for your work #USvisa? You can apply up to 90 days before the employment start date noted on your I-797. #USVisas— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) 1570684441000
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