H-1B changes due to kick in from April 1

  1. The US has said that it will start accepting H1B visa petitions for the fiscal year 2020.The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
  2. The US has announced several changes to the H1b programme which are (a)new data hub (b)change in how the lottery is conducted for the general category and advanced degree holders and (c)changes to the mechanism of premium processing.
  3. The H-1B Employer data hub is part of US efforts to increase the transparency of the H-1B program.It will allow the public to search for H-1B petitioners by fiscal year,company name,city,state or zip code.This will give the public the ability to calculate approval and denial rates and to review which employers are using the H-1B program.
  4. The US has also introduced a change in the order in which allocations would be counted.The agency will now put all the petitions including the ones with an advanced degree in the regular cap.In the second round, it will select the remaining petitions.The new order is expected to increase chances of petitioners with a US Master’s degree.
  5. The premium processing will be offered in two-phases — the first phase will include FY20 cap-subject H1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase will include all other FY20 cap-subject petitions.This will prevent US agencies from suspending premium processing.