United States moots new H-1B visa rules

Thursday, March 20, 2008 | | |

The United States has proposed a new rule probihiting the employers from filing multiple applications for H-1B visa, widely sought by Indians, for the same employee to ensure a fair and orderly distribution of available visas.

"To ensure a fair and orderly distribution of available H-1B visas, USCIS will deny or revoke multiple petitions filed by an employer for th same H-1B worker and will not refund the filing fees submitted with multiple or duplicative petitions," the US Citizenship and Immigration Services said in an announcement.

The USCIS has sent the interim final rule for publication in the Federal Register for it becoming effective.

These changes will ensure that companies filing H-1B petitions subject to congressionally mandated numerical limits have an equal chance to employ an H-1B worker, it said.

This rule does not preclude related employers (such as a parent company and its subsidiary) from filing petitions on behalf of the same alien for different positions, based on a legitimate business need.

According to the agency from April 1, 2008, employers can file petitions requesting H-1B workers for fiscal year 2009 employment starting on October 1, 2008.

The USCIS has said that in last August, President George W Bush announced that the Administration would be undertaking a series of immigration and border security reforms and changes to the H-1B filing process under this rule are an important part of that initiative.

The Congress has set a limit of 65,000 for most H-1B workers for the fiscal 2009