US increases H1B application fee by $10
Washington DC: As part of its revised selection process, the US has hiked by USD 10 the application fee of the H-1B work visa, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.
The H-1B programme allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the application of a body of highly specialised knowledge and a bachelor's degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.
This non-refundable fee will support the new electronic registration system to make the H-1B cap selection process more efficient for both petitioners and the federal agency, said the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Thursday.
"This effort will help implement a more efficient and effective H-1B cap selection process," said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli.
"The electronic registration system is part of an agency-wide initiative to modernise our immigration system while deterring fraud, improving vetting procedures and strengthening program integrity," he said.
Upon implementation of the electronic registration system, petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, will first have to electronically register with the USCIS during a designated registration period, unless the requirement is suspended, the USCIS said.
The federal agency is slated to implement the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap selection process, pending completed testing of the system.
It will announce the implementation time frame and initial registration period in the federal register once a formal decision has been made, and the USCIS will offer ample notice to the public in advance of implementing the registration requirement.
The USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking highlighting a registration fee on September 4, 2019, which included a 30-day public comment period.