Due to a limit of 200,000 applicants per year, there is significant competition for H1-B visas. If the submitted applications exceed the cap, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) (USCIS) will hold an H-1B visa lottery.
The H-1B visa enables American firms to hire foreign workers for a specific time. The lottery is a computer-based selection process for H-1B applications.
It is essential to understand the registration process and eligibility requirements to apply for an H-1B visa. This article will guide you through the H1-B visa process.
Eligibility Requirements for H-1B Visa
The criteria to be eligible for an H1B visa are the following:
- A legitimate job offer from a U.S. business that necessitates specialized abilities;
- A bachelor’s degree or equivalent knowledge in that field;
- Your employer must demonstrate that there is a scarcity of eligible U.S. applicants for the position.
H-1B Visa Registration Process
Registration of H-1B employees has become easier with the USCIS implementing an electronic registration process. This system enables prospective petitioners to file applications for H-1B employees electronically. Here are the steps in registering for the H-1B visa lottery.
- Go to my.uscis.gov. Simply sign in if you already have a registrant’s USCIS online account.
- If you don’t have a USCIS account yet, click sign up and create your own account.
- Select “I am an H-1B registrant”. If you have an immigration attorney or legal representative, do not click “file a registration.” Your representative will provide you with a passcode to review your registration.
- Provide information about yourself, the employer, and the beneficiary. You can add more than one beneficiary and submit multiple registrations.
- Review your registration or registrations before submission. Ensure that all required fields are accomplished, and there are no errors.
- Electronically sign and certify the registration.
- Pay the required fee for each beneficiary registered in multiple eligible registrations.
- Wait for notification of the lottery results. If selected, you can proceed with the H-1B visa application process. If you are not selected, consider alternative visa options or reapply in the next lottery.
Every year, the registration period lasts only 14 days. You cannot apply for an H-1B visa if you do not register, and your occupation is not exempt from the cap.
H-1B Visa Selection Process
After the initial registration period and time have ended, USCIS will notify you if you have been chosen.
Everyone is subject to the cap except for higher education, research institutions, and select organizations. If you don’t work for a university or in a nonprofit research position, chances are you’ll be subject to the cap and have to go through the lottery system.
USCIS will let you know after the H-1B cap for that year has been reached and you weren’t chosen.
Some people attempt to increase their chances by having multiple employers register on their behalf. While there is no legal ban against duplicate registrations, there is one against filing frivolous registrations.
Because of these instances, the USCIS has undertaken extensive fraud investigations. The agency also denied and revoked applications concerning duplicate results and is in the process of referring cases to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.
H-1B Visa Status Notification
Notifications will include one of the four statuses listed below.
- Submitted. After the first selection process is done, a registration status may remain submitted. Registrations submitted will be considered for selection until the end of the fiscal year.
- Selected. This status implies you’ve been chosen to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the fiscal year.
- Not selected. This status signifies that you were not chosen for this fiscal year.
- Denied. All registrations submitted on the same fiscal year by the prospective petitioner on behalf of the same beneficiary are considered null and void.
What Employers Should Do If You Are Selected For H-1B Visa
Once selected for the H-1B visa, your employer can start filing a petition on your behalf.
- Your employer needs to request certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) by submitting a Labor Condition Application (LCA).
- After the DOL certifies the LCA, your employer must fill out Form I-129, which is a petition for a non-immigrant worker. They must then submit the LCA and I-129, along with any required fees and supporting documents, to USCIS.
- Your employer must submit documents such as proof of your education, training certificates, professional memberships, resume, employment confirmation, support letter, and necessary fees to USCIS.
- After that, USCIS will evaluate your application and decide.
Employers and foreign workers looking to work in the U.S. must comprehend the H-1B visa registration process. Because there is an annual limit on H-1B visas, the lottery selection process can be challenging.
Seeking the advice of an immigration attorney can also be beneficial in the H1B visa process. Make an appointment with Hacking Immigration Law, LLC today.
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