US Alluring Indians: Ease on H-1B applications
Finally, a sigh of relief for Indian IT professionals who seek the American dream as the US immigration authorities start to accept applications for H-1B work visas for the fiscal year 2012. More good news is that the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals having a US master’s degrees or higher are exempt from this cap, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a statement. However the US Congress has mandated the fiscal year cap on H-1B petitions for 2012, beginning October 1, at 65,000.
US businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in ‘specialty occupations’ that require theoretical or technical expertise, like scientists, engineers and computer programmers. While individual software professionals from India stand to benefit from this as it will surely help in realizing their Silicon Valley dream, it is central to note that this might not pose a problem for India as present day India already offers opportunities galore that might fail to make the US job any more glorified than what is available at home. What could have resulted in a concern as a result of brain drain in the 90s is perhaps not so alarming in India today.
“Cases will be considered accepted on the date USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Service) receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted; not the date that the petition is postmarked,” the USCIS clarified. To ensure a transparent system, USCIS will monitor the number of H-1B petitions received and notify the public of the date when the numerical limit of the H-1B cap has been met. In case the USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, it may, on the final receipt date, randomly select the number of petitions that will be considered for final inclusion within the cap. USCIS will reject petitions that are subject to the cap and are not selected, as well as petitions received after it has the necessary number of petitions needed to meet the cap, the statement said.