H-1B visa applications for US to be prevalent from 3 April
The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) will begin accepting H-1B work visa applications for the year 2018 from 3 April.
The most sought after work visa for IT firms and speciality professionals from other fields in India, H-1B has become a contentious issue in the US Congress over its alleged misuse.
The USCIS has, however, not specified in the official announcement until when it would accept the petitions for this work visa.
Usually, 85,000 H-1B visas are issued each year by the department. As per the limit mandated by the Congress on H-1B visas, of the total, 65,000 are issued in the general category and 20,000 are given to overseas students who have graduated in masters or a higher degree from an educational institution in America. But exempted from this limit are foreigners arriving in the US in certain classes for research and scientific establishments.
Although White House is said to have stated that a comprehensive immigration reform was being worked on, the USCIS was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that all H-1B petitions, which are subject to a ceiling, that are filed before 3 April would be rejected for the Fiscal Year 2018 cap. In fact, FY 2018 commences from 1 October 2017.
According to the USCIS, H-1B programme allows the US employers to hire foreign workers in distinctive occupations and at least a bachelor’s degree in the specific field or its equivalent.
Generally, distinguishing occupations in H-1B mostly include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.