As of April 1, 2020, the yearly slots available for the H-1B employment visa for specialty occupations will become available. These visas are exclusively for “specialty occupations,” and the available allotment is expected to be much lower than demand, as has been the trend for many years.
Because of the high demand for H-1B visas, employers are encouraged to identify employees or prospective employees who may need an H-1B visa now, to get started on the application process.
Having everything ready will help get your application submitted as soon as an H-1B applicant is selected from this year’s new H-1B registration-lottery system and the application submission window opens to submit required paperwork.
Who Qualifies for an H-1B Visa?
When assessing company needs, employers may consider the following types of employees as good candidates for H-1B visas as long as the potential new employee is qualified to work in a specialty occupation:
1. F-1 visa students with degrees that are required to work in a specialty occupation
2. L-1 employees experiencing long green card delays
3. Former J-1 trainees who you would like to retain on a more permanent basis
Keep in mind that H-1B visas are specifically for “graduate-level” workers (meaning a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher or the foreign equivalent) in specialty occupations. These occupations require expertise that is not necessary for other types of jobs.
(Note: Certain foreign workers who are working with the U.S. Department of Defense may qualify to apply for H-1B2 visas while individuals who are international fashion models of prominence may apply for H-1B3 visas.)
Typical H-1B fields include:
Starting the process now will put you in a good position to apply when the flood gates open at the end of March.
H-1B Caps in FY2021: What to Expect
Keep in mind that anyone who does not get a slot in the current lottery will have to wait to apply for available spaces next year.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented its new registration system this year, which will affect H-1B visas obtained in FY2021.
Under this new system, there is no need to submit a full application before the lottery. Instead, employers will only need to submit a simple online registration for each employee.
This year’s initial registration period will be from March 1 through March 20, 2020.
Once the submissions reach 85,000, the USCIS will conduct a computer-generated lottery to select registrants. If an employee is selected, the employer must submit a complete H-1B application within the next 90 days.
Preparing for FY2021 H-1B Registration
The new H-1B registration system requires employers to electronically register in order to be able to submit a registration for the H-1B visa in FY2021.
The employer must also pay the new $10 registration fee for each H-1B beneficiary employee that is registered. The registration period is set to open March 1, and employers should create a game plan with a licensed immigration attorney so that everything will be ready at the appropriate time.
Get Help with an H-1B Visa Application
To learn more about what you should do to get electronically registered and prepare for H-1B registration this March, give our team a call now to schedule a consultation.
David Hirson & Partners, LLP, can walk you through all of the steps you need to get ready for submitting your H1-B registration today.
This blog post is general information and is not legal advice.