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H-1B Lottery Overhaul Increases Foreign Worker Visa Odds

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H-1B Lottery Overhaul Increases Foreign Worker Visa Odds

H-1B Lottery Overhaul Increases Foreign Worker Visa Odds. Foreign workers in tech and other high-demand fields are poised to have better opportunities to secure H-1B specialty occupation visas this year, thanks to a significant overhaul of the annual lottery process. This revamp comes as a welcome relief for both employers and prospective foreign workers, aiming to address longstanding concerns surrounding fairness and fraud in the visa allocation system.

A New Approach To Selection

Commencing this year, employers can initiate registrations for visas for fiscal year 2025. Unlike previous years, where lottery selections were based on the total number of submissions made on behalf of employers, the U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now base selections on individual workers. This shift aims to eliminate fraudulent practices wherein companies submit multiple registrations for the same worker, skewing the odds unfairly.

Jill Bloom, a partner at Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP, notes that employers widely support this change, viewing it as a step towards rectifying a longstanding issue within the system.

Leveling The Playing Field

The H-1B program serves as a crucial avenue for employers to fill skill gaps with foreign talent in fields requiring at least a bachelor’s degree. However, recent years have witnessed a surge in submissions, exacerbating the competition for limited visa slots. The online registration system introduced by USCIS has facilitated this surge, with submissions surpassing 758,000 last year.

Of particular concern is the prevalence of duplicate submissions, which have unfairly inflated the chances of selection for certain workers.

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USCIS has expressed concerns over potential abuse of the system and has undertaken measures to combat fraud, including ongoing fraud investigations and the codification of rules enabling the denial or revocation of petitions based on false information.

Implications For Foreign Graduates

The new lottery system presents a glimmer of hope for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges and universities, who often find themselves at the mercy of the lottery despite being employed in the country under programs like Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Xiao Wang, CEO of Boundless Immigration, highlights the plight of these individuals, underscoring the need for reforms to prevent skilled workers from being uprooted due to visa uncertainties.

Competition And Uncertainty

While the revamped system offers greater transparency and fairness, it also introduces new challenges for both employers and workers. Individual-based selections mean that selected workers may entertain multiple offers, forcing companies to compete by offering better compensation and benefits.

However, this also introduces uncertainty for employers, who may face difficulties in gauging the competition for prospective hires.

Anticipated Changes And Challenges Ahead

Despite the positive changes, challenges loom on the horizon for employers navigating the H-1B landscape. Draft regulations proposing changes to eligibility criteria and visa fee hikes signal potential disruptions in the near future.

Eileen Lohmann, a senior associate attorney at BAL, emphasizes the need for predictability amidst these changes, highlighting the persistent demand for H-1B visas and the necessity for legislative reforms to address underlying issues.

Conclusion

The overhaul of the H-1B lottery system represents a significant step towards fostering fairness and transparency in the allocation of visas. While it offers hope for both employers and foreign workers, challenges persist, necessitating continued vigilance and potential legislative action to ensure a balanced and equitable immigration system.

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Visa News

Do They Interview You For Schengen Visa?

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Do They Interview You For Schengen Visa?

Do They Interview You For Schengen Visa? For individuals planning to travel to Europe, obtaining a Schengen visa is often a crucial step in the process. However, beyond the paperwork and documentation, there another significant aspect to consider – the Schengen visa interview. This article aims to shed light on the interview process and what applicants can anticipate.

Do They Interview You For Schengen Visa?

Once you’ve meticulously gathered and organized all the necessary documents for your Schengen visa application, the next step is typically an interview. The interview serves as an opportunity for the visa officer to assess your eligibility and sincerity regarding your travel plans.

Purpose Of The Interview

The primary objective of the Schengen visa interview is to verify the information provided in your application and to evaluate your intentions for visiting the Schengen Area. The visa officer aims to determine whether you pose any risk of overstaying your visa or engaging in unauthorized activities during your stay.

What To Expect During The Interview

  1. Documentation Review: The visa officer may begin by examining your passport, application form, financial statements, travel itinerary, accommodation arrangements, and any other supporting documents you’ve provided.
  2. Questions about Your Trip: Be prepared to answer questions regarding the purpose of your visit, the duration of your stay, your intended activities, and how you plan to finance your trip. Providing clear and honest responses is crucial.
  3. Personal Background Inquiries: You may also be asked about your personal background, including your employment status, family ties, previous travel history, and ties to your home country. The visa officer may seek to ascertain whether you have strong reasons to return home after your visit.
  4. Language Proficiency: If the interview is conducted in a language other than your native language, the visa officer may assess your proficiency to ensure effective communication.
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Tips For A Successful Interview

  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at the visa application center well in advance of your scheduled interview time.
  • Dress Appropriately: Dress neatly and professionally to convey a positive impression.
  • Be Honest and Transparent: Answer all questions truthfully and provide any additional information or clarification if requested.
  • Stay Calm and Confident: Maintain composure during the interview and express confidence in your travel plans.
  • Follow Up: If required, follow up promptly with any additional documentation requested by the visa officer.

Conclusion

The Schengen visa interview is a critical step in the visa application process, and preparation is key to success. By understanding what to expect and following the tips provided, applicants can increase their chances of a favorable outcome. Remember to approach the interview with honesty, clarity, and confidence, and best of luck with your Schengen visa application

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