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H1B Visa Process & The Latest Reforms

Posted February 21, 2019 - Vineesha Kakarlapudi

There is so much hustle and bustle about the latest reforms in the H1B visa process. Many petitioners are still unaware of these reforms and their implementation in this cap season.

Here is a clear explanation of the latest reforms in the H1B visa process and their impact on the non-immigrants


H1B visa process



The 2 Latest Reforms In The H1B Visa Process

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has recently announced two major changes in the H1B visa process. These simple yet significant changes would impact the employers and the employees in more ways than one. Let us have a look at these reforms here.


The first major change in the H1B visa process:

All the hassle of filing the petitions of your non-immigrant employees would be ended with this change. DHS has come up with an electronic registration system to register your H1B petitions prior to the petition filing. The registrations would be enabled only during a specific period as specified by the USCIS.

Then the lottery would run on these registered applications, from which the required 85,000 applications would be picked. All the corresponding employers or attorneys would be informed of these selected applications, to file the petitions for further processing.

However, all the employers out there, filing H1B petitions are not relieved from the current time-consuming process yet. Because USCIS has suspended the implementation of this change for FY 2020 to ensure its working.


The second major change in the H1B visa process:

In opposition to the current H1B visa process, the new process mandated a lottery on the H1B regular cap prior to the cap exempt.

The regular cap petitions along with the cap exempt petitions are subject to this lottery, out of which 65,000 petitions are picked.

The selected regular cap petitions are sent for further processing, while the unselected are returned to the employers or attorneys along with the fees.

The unselected exempt petitions are now subjected to the cap exempt lottery, which is run for the unselected exempt petitions alone.

Do you know?
The lottery process was started in the Fiscal Year 2008 after USCIS has received 1,23,480 petitions for the first time.


Impact of the New H1B Visa Process

Conducting the cap exempt lottery first, used to give better chances of selection for regular cap applicants as the 20,000 applications selected in this lottery would not be included in the regular cap lottery. But with the new regulations, this wouldn’t be the case anymore.

An increase in the cap exempt petitions for the first lottery would diminish the selection chances for the H1B regular cap applicants.

True to Trump’s statement of “Buy American, Hire American”, these changes open the door for individuals graduated from US universities with a Master’s degree or higher. At the same time, it restrains the eligible American aspirers from working in the US. Estimates say that there would a 16% increase in the selection of cap exempt applicants compared to the previous years.


All these reforms during the cap season have put many employers in dilemma regarding H1B petition process. These can be overwhelming if you are filing the H1B petitions without an attorney. This is where OnBlick guides you. OnBlick is an Immigration and HR compliance software with inbuilt H1B packet and the H1B case management system, that helps you in filing the H1B petitions. You can give it a go and be assured of an efficient H1B process.