The US intends to streamline the H-1B visa application process

Updated on Feb 20, 2024 | Online US Visa

Before the end of 2023, the U.S. plans to update its H-1B visa program. 

Millions of applications could benefit from this decision.

One of the suggested changes would make it simpler for American start-up businesses to hire foreign workers on an H-1B non-immigrant visa.

Another would be to modify a few additional rules to make the H-1B registration process more efficient and less susceptible to fraud and abuse.

All of the aforementioned proposals are included in what is referred to as the "Spring Agenda," a twice-yearly event that aids in the development of a regulatory roadmap for the many government agencies involved.

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing changes to the H-1B visa program with two main goals:

  1. Improve Verification and Program Integrity:
    • DHS wants to tighten the rules for employers who use H-1B visas, especially those whose business information is hard to verify. This includes new rules for site visits and the relationship between employees and employers.
  2. Enhance Flexibility and Address Concerns:
    • The changes will allow for more flexible start dates for H-1B workers, helping address concerns for students on F-1 visas facing the "cap gap" issue. DHS also proposes streamlining the process for obtaining a green card for those already in the US on non-immigrant visas. This involves revising regulations for Form I-485, the application for permanent residence.

The proposed immigration reforms aim to address two major challenges: lengthy processing times and limited inclusivity.

  • Faster processing: The plan seeks to significantly reduce wait times, which currently stretch for years, particularly for applicants from certain countries.
  • Increased inclusivity: Religious workers previously excluded will now be eligible, expanding the scope of the system.
  • Efficient allocation: The plan aims to optimize the use of available immigrant visas, ensuring they reach qualified individuals promptly.

It is crucial to remember that these are currently just suggestions. It will probably take some time before they can be implemented, even if they are approved.

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