US Citizenship and Immigration Services

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to notify randomly selected H-1B visa recipients, including those with advanced US degrees, through a lottery system. Selected candidates are already receiving notifications via email.

Previously, the selection process favored employers and allowed multiple submissions for the same beneficiary. The new system ensures fairness by selecting each beneficiary only once. However, this reduces the chances for Master of Science (MS) students seeking H-1B visas.

MS students are right now in high-tension mode, with many unlikely to be selected due to high demand versus limited spots available.

Due to the high demand, those not selected, including many MS students, may have to wait until the next fiscal year. So they have to consider extending their studies to remain in the US which costs a lot of money and also stress.

Job prospects for selected individuals are also currently uncertain, especially for freshers.

The USCIS resorts to a lottery because demand exceeds the annual visa limit of 85,000, with Indian professionals often securing a majority of visas.

Starting April 1, 2024, new rules for H-1B visa applications come into effect. Changes include filing applications at designated locations and increased fees. The fee for Form I-129 rises from $460 to $780, while the registration fee increases from $10 to $215.

These changes particularly affect Indian nationals, who make up a significant portion of H-1B applicants. The higher fees impact both individuals and sponsoring organizations, potentially influencing decisions about employment in the US.