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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

Breaking News: Qatar Introduces New Hayya Platform for Tourist Visas

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Breaking News: Qatar Introduces New Hayya Platform for Tourist Visas

Breaking News: Qatar Introduces New Hayya Platform for Tourist Visas. In a significant update for travelers, Qatar has unveiled its latest initiative to streamline the tourist visa process. The all-new Hayya Platform, previously employed to facilitate the entry of over a million visitors during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, has been revamped and will be immediately put into operation. This development pertains to all tourists necessitating a visa to enter the country.

Unifying Tourist and Business Visas: A Seamless Process

The Hayya Platform is now set to become the singular gateway for both business and tourist visas within Qatar. This innovation is designed to provide a cohesive experience for applicants, simplifying the visa application process and enhancing the overall efficiency of the system.

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Inclusive Access: A Step Forward

Under this unified approach, the new Hayya Platform welcomes all categories of applicants, encompassing tourists, residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and accompanying resident companions. This inclusive methodology underscores Qatar’s commitment to bolstering its tourism sector.

Simple Application via Hayya Platform

For tourists seeking a visa, the Hayya Platform offers user-friendly options for application. Travelers can conveniently apply through the smartphone app or the official website, www.hayya.qa.

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Effortless Entry and More Services

Holders of the Hayya card will also enjoy expedited e-gate entry at the Hamad International Airport. This platform isn’t solely limited to air travel; it extends to land entry as well. For those entering Qatar by land, the Hayya Platform offers a pre-registration vehicle feature, ensuring swift and convenient entry.

GCC Nationals and Companions: Enhanced Access

The Hayya Platform takes care of the needs of GCC nationals by enabling the application of entry permits for their companions. This feature aims to facilitate hassle-free travel for groups.

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A Comprehensive Visitor Experience

Beyond visa services, the Hayya Platform aims to enrich the visitor experience. It provides a range of offerings including maps, transportation choices, special deals, and upcoming events.

Qatar’s Vision and Commitment to Tourism

Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, shared his optimism about Qatar’s ambitious tourism strategy. He affirmed that Qatar’s aspiration is to welcome over six million visitors annually by 2030. He also emphasized Qatar’s reputation as one of the most accessible destinations for travelers and expressed confidence that the new developments would solidify its position as a premier global tourism hub.

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Sustaining the FIFA World Cup Legacy

Saeed Ali Al Kuwari, CEO of the Hayya Platform, described the relaunch as a continuation of the strategic vision set by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. This vision aims to uphold the legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ by making the Hayya Platform an enduring means of inviting travelers from around the world to explore Qatar’s diverse and captivating offerings.

Conclusion

With the introduction of the Hayya Platform, Qatar is poised to provide an enhanced and unified visa application process, underscoring its commitment to welcoming and serving travelers from all corners of the globe.

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