Disparities in the number of petitions filed in FY20 will be addressed by an electronic registration process
A federal US body has recently announced that it will allow certain foreign guest workers to resubmit their applications for the H-1B visa, the most sought-after non-immigrant visa among Indian IT professionals, which allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise and knowledge. For example, technology companies depend on this visa for hiring tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), such re-submission is for rejected applicants or ones which were administratively closed solely because the requested start date was after October 1st, 2020.
“If your FY 2021 petition was rejected or administratively closed solely because your petition was based on a registration submitted during the initial registration period, but you requested a start date after October 1st, 2020, you can resubmit the previously filed petition, with all applicable fees,” USCIS said on Wednesday.
“Such petitions must be resubmitted before October 1st, 2021. If properly resubmitted, we will consider the petition to have been filed on the original receipt date,” USCIS added.
In 2020, USCIS implemented an electronic registration process for the H-1B cap. Petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay a $10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.
“The electronic registration process has streamlined processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange and provided overall cost savings to employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions,” it said.
According to USCIS, for fiscal 2021, the number of petitions filed during the initial filing period was below the number projected as needed to reach the numerical allocations.
This disparity was likely related to multiple factors, including the economic, political, and public health uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the fact that FY 2021 was the first year the electronic registration process was implemented.
“Therefore, in August 2020, we selected additional registrations that were held in reserve. The filing period for registrations selected in August ended on November 16th, 2020,” said USCIS.
“Some petitioners indicated a start date after October 1st, 2020. We rejected or administratively closed those petitions because they were based on registrations submitted during the initial registration period but indicated a start date after October 1st, 2020. Upon reconsideration, we no longer believe that the regulations required us to reject or administratively close those petitions,” said USCIS.