Wednesday July 1, 2020

By Attorney Robert Perkins & Legal Assistant Dennisa Villa

Immigration Professor’s Corner
by Attorney Robert Perkins, ESQ

The US Government has announced a new and better method for the H-1B visa lottery. The H-1B visa is the most commonly sought employment visa in the United States, but is limited to 65,000 visas per year, with an extra 20,000, available for advanced degree holders.

Over 200,000 people apply for these 85,000 visas every year, so the US government holds a lottery to pick which applications it will process. Highly skilled Filipino workers, including nurses, doctors, and other experts in the health care industry, comprise about three percent of H-1B visa holders. For USCIS to approve an H1-B visa, three main requirements need to be satisfied:

1. The employer must offer the employee to work in a professional job in the United States; a professional is one where US employers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree, i.e., a computer programmer, an engineer, a teacher, a nurse, etc.

2. The employee – called the beneficiary, must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. In the United States, a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to earn. Extensive work experience may be equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

3. The final requirement is that the employer must pay the prevailing wage for the job.

As stated above, the great news is the lottery system has been revised to benefit employers and employees. Before the rules change, the employer and employee had to pay a of money in legal fees ($2500-$5000 USD) and file an extensive H-1B application before even knowing if their case would be picked in the lottery and processed by the government. Now, an extensive and expensive application need not be filed until a person is picked in the lottery and knows that their application will go forward. Under the new rules, employers seeking H-1B workers will first complete a quick and easy online registration form with basic information. The H-1B lottery will then be based on these registrations. Only those picked in the lottery will be eligible to file full petitions, saving unselected employers and employees time and money. American Immigration Lawyers Association announced on their website that prospective petitioners may begin creating H1-B registrant accounts, and representatives may create an account starting on February 24, 2020. Registrations will be accepted March 1-20, 2020. As the registration period nears, the USCIS website will provide a step-by-step guide for employers in completing the registration process online, along with additional key dates and timelines.

H-1B visa lottery season is just around the corner, and if you want Law Offices of The Immigration Professor to get started with your H1-B visa registration, call us at 310-384-0200.

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