The H1B Visa Applications are Open and This is What You Need to Know With stricter laws in place, professionals filling out the forms have to be careful about how they go about it

By Sanchita Dash

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Don't we all know about India's fascination with the US? For years, Indians have been moving to the US in search of better jobs which offers them a better pay as well. Now, once again it's that time of the year when Indian professionals scramble to collect and get their documentations in place, as the much awaited H1B visa applications for jobs in the US have opened up.

But with President Trump clamping down restrictions on the visa, Indians are finding it difficult to get to the job of their dreams. With stricter laws in place, professionals filling out the forms have to be careful about how they go about it.

Entrepreneur India spoke to experts as they laid down the ground rules all professionals should follow while applying for the visa.

What You Need to Know

The US is looking to fill H1B slots with skilled workers for jobs where there is a shortage of qualified American workers. Talking about the process, Brennan Sim, Senior Vice President of EB5 United, said that as the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is putting more scrutiny on what value H1B applicants are bringing to the US, the process has become more difficult.

Trend of H1B Petitions Filed in India FY 2010 Through 2017

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Total

135,931

155,791

197,940

201,114

227,172

269,677

300,902

302,293

2,237,478

Meanwhile, Vivek Tandon, Founder and CEO of EB5 BRICS said that it's important for professionals to keep in mind that the H-1B is on a lottery system and they may or may not get picked. If they do make it through the lottery then their application will be adjudicated on its merits to see whether they qualify for the job offered to them. "They should keep in mind that there's a significant increase in denials from 2016 to 2017 denial rates and we expect FY18 denials to increase substantially," said Tandon.

Additionally, the USCIS has made it very clear that the forms need to be filled completely and accurately (absolutely zero minor mistakes will be tolerated). "The USCIS has also said that it will reject anyone who requests an earlier start date, or writes in "ASAP" (as soon as possible). Lastly, the applicant needs to provide a copy of the beneficiary's valid passport. Providing all information accurately is critical in the process," said Sim.

Agreeing with Sim, Tandon went on to emphasize on the importance of having the correct documentation in place. The USCIS is issuing an increasing number of RFE's (request for evidence) which means they are asking for substantially more documentation to support the application, he said.

Why You Might Lose Out on the Application

There are various reasons why you might be rejected while applying for the H1B Visa. According to Sim, one common reason for rejection is if the job does not qualify as a "specialty occupation". Another is for the employer to fail to meet the requirements.

In a desperate attempt to get their application cleared, if one files for multiple H-1B applications to improve their odds in the H-1B lottery, they will get rejected. Tandon added that if the employer is on a 'blacklist' of the companies that can no longer file H-1B's due to previous fraud or misrepresentation, then too the application stands rejected.

Sim pointed out that the main thing to realize is that there will only be 85,000 H1B's given out this year just like last year, but there is expected to be substantially more applicants than last year. "This would mean it isn't possible for the acceptance rate to increase. Many rejections are simply because there are no more H1B visas available. All of these forces are driving people to find other visa options, such as the EB-5 visa program," said Sim.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 

 

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