CIO Magazine

­­­In an article published on April 5, 2019 with, Penni Bradshaw offers insight on the new H-1B selection process and the “final rule” that began with this year’s filings, in addition to changes in the actual application process set to take effect for 2020 and other proposed adjustments by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Recent changes to the cap selection process aimed to cut down on the administrative burden of the process as well as offer greater opportunity for more Master’s candidates to be selected by allowing said candidates to enter into the initial pool with all other eligible applicants.

As for 2020, applicants will no longer be required to fill out a comprehensive application for each visa holder until officially selected from the lottery – thereby cutting down on the time required by the current process and the costs associated, as Penni explains it “costs roughly $2,460 to file an application for an H-1B visa,” not to mention the cost of potential legal fees.

Additionally, Penni discusses another recent and proposed change that isn’t as friendly for employers as the modified 2020 application process: the proposed change to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which gave international students on F-1 study visas 12 months to work in the United States – extending to 24 months for those with “science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees from Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified and accredited U.S. colleges.” The USCIS reinterpreted this extension to require STEM graduates work at the employer’s worksite only – preventing them from performing on a third-party client site. After industry pushback, the USCIS ultimately clarified that the STEM OPT “training plans” did not apply to any F-1 visa holders or their employers.

Companies clearly rely on H-1B visas to provide a skilled and technical workforce, and time will tell of the true impact these changes will have on IT firms and their ability to “fill roles, grow their business, innovate and remain competitive.”

To view the full article, please click here.


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