h1b visa: US eyes making H-1B more flexible for startups, pacing up green card process

The US intends to modernize the H-1B visa program as part of its regulatory agenda for 2023 which could benefit Indian applicants. It proposes introducing changes that will make it easier for startups to hire foreign workers on an H-1B non-immigrant visa as well as revise certain other regulations which will streamline the process and reduce the possibility of fraud or misuse in the H-1B registration. system.

These are part of the proposals put forth by the Department of Homeland Security as part of the Spring Agenda. The Unified Agenda is a biannual regulatory agenda that provides a roadmap of planned federal rulemaking across various agencies.

The DHS said it intends to revise the regulations related to the ’employer-employee relationship and implement new requirements and guidelines for site visits including in connection with petitions filed by H-1B dependent employers whose basic business information cannot be validated through commercially available data. . It will also bring in more flexibility on employment start dates in certain circumstances and address ‘cap-gap’ issues which impact students on an F-1 visa.

Another proposal by the DHS calls for an amendment in its regulations to improve the efficiency in the processing of the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) which is used by non-immigrant visa holders when they switch status and apply. for a green card or permanent residency.

The proposal intends to reduce processing times which currently plague the system, often running into decades for applicants from India. It would also work to promote the efficient use of immediately available immigrant visas to include the expansion of concurrent filing to the employment-based 4th preference (certain special immigrants) category, including religious workers. ‘

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These changes are still at a proposed rule stage and if introduced, are likely to take some time to be implemented.

ET Online

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