Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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    Latest Updates for Indian Travelers: H-1B Visa Registrations Open

    While addressing concerns about the Indian Travelers H-1B visa process and the green card application backlog in a press conference

    The Indian Travelers H-1B visa program, which enables US companies to hire foreign workers with specialized skills, has commenced registrations for the fiscal year 2025 as of March 6. In January, reports surfaced about a potential overhaul of the annual lottery system for this visa category by the US federal agency, signaling a significant change in the application process.

    During a press conference addressing concerns over the H-1B visa process and the backlog in green card applications, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized President Joe Biden’s dedication to addressing issues within the legal immigration system. In an effort to streamline procedures, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced organizational accounts under the name myUSCIS, with the goal of improving collaboration and enhancing the overall user experience.

    Checking the registration trends over the past three years provides these insights:

    • In 2022, there were 308,613 registrations, with 131,924 applications selected for further processing.
    • In 2023, registrations increased to 483,927, and 127,600 applications were selected.
    • Notably, 2024 saw a surge in registrations, reaching 780,884, and 188,400 applications were selected.

    Key dates for the H-1B visa process in the upcoming fiscal year:

    • March 6: H-1B registration period opens
    • March 22: H-1B registration period closes
    • March 31: USCIS intends to notify selected registrants
    • April 1: Earliest day to submit H-1B petitions for the 2025 fiscal year for those chosen during the initial selection process.

    How to register?

    • To submit an H-1B registration, the initial step is to create a USCIS online account.
    • The registration window for Fiscal Year 2025 will be open from March 6 to March 22. Both representatives and registrants are required to delay the creation and submission of H-1B registrations until March 1.
    • Starting from February 28, 2024, individuals handling their own registrations, termed as “registrants,” including U.S. employers and U.S. agents, will utilise an “organisational” account, previously identified as a “registrant” account. Registrants have the option to establish new organisational accounts beginning February 28, 2024. For those holding existing registrant accounts, the process involves a simple upgrade to an organisational account instead of creating a new one.
    • Representatives have the flexibility to create an account at any time using the existing representative account type. If they already possess a representative account, there is no need to initiate a new one.
    • Additionally, representatives can opt to upgrade to an organisational account, with this option becoming available from February 28, 2024.

    What is the fee?

    The registration fee amounts to $10 per registration, and each registration is designated for a single beneficiary.

    The U.S. Department of Treasury has granted temporary approval for an increase in the daily credit card transaction limit, elevating it from $24,999.99 to $39,999.99 per day specifically for the FY 2024 H-1B cap season. This temporary adjustment has been implemented in response to feedback from stakeholders and the substantial volume of prior H-1B registrations surpassing the established daily credit card limit.

    A daily transaction cap of $24,999.99 per credit card per day is in place. Alternatively, transactions can be processed through different means:

    – Utilise a checking account for transactions. The checking account details, including routing and account numbers, must be affiliated with a financial institution based in the United States.

    – Employ a debit card issued by a financial institution situated in the United States.

    Additionally, it remains an option to use a credit card, with the caveat of restricting daily credit card transactions to a cumulative total of $39,999.99 per card.

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