The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the new H-1B Employer Data Hub

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the new H-1B Employer Data Hub

Washington: The US will begin accepting applications for H-1B visas for the upcoming financial year from April 1, the federal immigration agency said on Tuesday and announced the launching of a new data hub to increase the transparency of the work visa programme popular among Indian IT companies and professionals.

The H1B visa is a visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology businesses depend on it to employ tens of thousands of employees annually from countries such as India and China.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the new H-1B Employer Data Hub. It will be available on uscis.gov on April 1.

The data hub is part of the USCIS’ continued effort to increase the transparency of the H-1B programme by allowing the public to look for H-1B petitioners by annually, NAICS (the North American Industry Classification System) industry code, company name, city, state, or zip code. This will give the people the ability to figure denial and approval rates and to review which employers are using the H-1B program, it said.

The USCIS said the premium processing will be offered during the next 2020 cap season in a two-phased approach. October 1 the fiscal year 2020 begins. The first phase will comprise 2020 petitions requesting a change of status and the next phase will include all other 2020 cap-subject petitions, USCIS said.

‘The USCIS continually strives to improve the administration of the H-1B program and make it work for US workers, our agency, and companies,’ said USCIS Director L Francis Cissna. ‘We’re also committed to meeting the President’s Buy American and Hire American executive order, one of the principal goals of which is to safeguard the interests of US employees in the administration of our immigration system, in part by promoting the proper functioning of this H-1B visa programme, he said.

‘Our data hub will make information more accessible to the general public, and the new selection process will help make the system more meritorious and better protect the wages of US workers. Furthermore, our approach to premium processing will make the process efficient and more effective for the USCIS and employers,’ Cissna said.

Additionally, H1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities or a nonprofit research firm or a government research organisation are not subject to this numerical cap.

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