The US has announced a significant overhaul of its annual H-1B visa lottery system to prevent fraud and streamline the registration process.
The reforms include a beneficiary-centric selection process, where H-1B visa applications will be counted and accepted based on individual applicants, preventing abuse of the system. Additionally, new rules aim to strengthen the integrity of the registration process and reduce the potential for fraud.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will open the initial registration period for the fiscal 2025 H-1B cap on March 6, running through March 22.
In a separate development, the US has launched a pilot program for the domestic renewal of H-1B visas, benefiting thousands of Indian tech professionals. This marks the first time in nearly two decades that a limited number of H-1B nonimmigrants can renew their visas from within the US.
The pilot program will allow approximately 4,000 applications each week, with slots reserved for applicants whose prior H-1B visas were issued by US diplomatic missions in Canada and India. The program, which accepts applications until April 1, 2024, aims to streamline the visa renewal process for H-1B visa holders.
(With Agency Inputs)