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Washington: A federal US body has announced that it will allow some foreign guest workers to re-submit their applications for the H-1B visa, the most sought-after non-immigrant visa among Indian IT professionals.

The H-1B visa allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), such re-submission of applications is for those whose applications have been rejected or administratively closed solely because the requested start date was after October 1, 2020.

If your FY 2021 petition was rejected or administratively closed solely because your petition was based on a registration submitted during the initial registration period, but you requested a start date after Oct. 1, 2020, you may re-submit that previously filed petition, with all applicable fees, USCIS said on Wednesday.

Such petitions must be re-submitted before October 1, 2021. If properly resubmitted, we will consider the petition to have been filed on the original receipt date, USCIS said.

In 2020, USCIS implemented an electronic registration process for the H-1B cap.

Prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the USD 10 H-1B registration fee for each beneficiary.

The electronic registration process has streamlined processing by reducing paperwork and data exchange and provided overall cost savings to employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, it said.

According to USCIS, for fiscal 2021, the number of petitions filed during the initial filing period was below the number projected as needed to reach the numerical allocations.

This discrepancy was likely related to multiple factors, including the economic, political, and public health uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the fact that FY 2021 was the first year that we implemented the electronic registration process.

Therefore, in August 2020, we selected additional registrations that were held in reserve. The filing period for registrations selected in August ended on November 16, 2020, it said.

Some petitioners indicated a start date after October 1, 2020. We rejected or administratively closed those petitions because they were based on registrations submitted during the initial registration period but indicated a start date after October 1, 2020. Upon reconsideration, we no longer believe that the regulations required us to reject or administratively close those petitions, USCIS said. -PTI

Also read: Big win for Indian IT firms as Biden decides to let Trump’s H1-B visa ban expire today


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