H-1B visa process made toughest ever, begins today.

Monday amid unprecedented scrutiny by the Trump administration begins the process of filing petitions for H-1B, one of the most sought-after American work visas among highly skilled Indian professionals.

From April 2, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will start to process the H-1B visa applications for the year 2018-19. Successful applicants will be able to work in the US from October 1, 2018, during the tenure of the visa which may be for an initial maximum period of three years.

The policy memorandum issued on March 23 but made public recently, the USCIS stated that in cases where multiple applications are filed by “related entities” (a parent company, a subsidiary, or even an affiliate) for the same visa seeker, there needs to be a legitimate business need. Else, these applications will be rejected.

“In the US federal law, a single company cannot file multiple H-1B applications for the same visa applicant. When a company files an H-1B application, another related company cannot do so unless there exist two separate job opportunities. These jobs must be clearly different.” said Kuldeep Singh, an immigration lawyer.

There have been many reports from the USCIS, “that it will have absolutely zero tolerance for even minor errors in the application. Talks on various social media platforms and among various groups indicate that immigration lawyers this time expect a much higher rate of rejection.”

When it comes to spouses of H-1B visa holders, they get the H4 visa currently, which doesn’t allow them to work or run a business until they obtain an employment authorization document (EAD). However, not all dependent spouses of the H-1B holders are eligible to apply for an EAD. This route is available only to the H-1B visa recipients on track for a Green Card. Hence, many foreign professionals are exploring the option of becoming a permanent resident of the US.

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