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US to announce new H-1B, L-1 visa regulations on July 8: What it means for Indian professionals

The new rules will be disclosed on July 8 and will be open for public comment for a specified period before implementation. This period will allow stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

US to announce new H-1B, L-1 visa regulations on July 8: What it means for Indian professionals AJR
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First Published Jun 20, 2024, 5:33 PM IST

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is preparing to announce new rules for H-1B visas aimed at reducing fraud and bolstering national security, reports said. These new regulations are expected to significantly impact employers and professionals, particularly those from India. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed that all H-1B visa extensions will require a $4,000 fee.

The H-1B visa is crucial for Indian IT companies, enabling them to deploy software engineering professionals in the US. Historically, Indians have been the predominant recipients of H-1B visas.

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The new rules will be disclosed on July 8 and will be open for public comment for a specified period before implementation. This period will allow stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

In addition to H-1B visas, the changes will also affect L-1 visa extensions. The L-1 visa allows companies to transfer managers and executives from foreign offices to the US. The proposed rule would impose a $4,500 fee for extending an L-1 visa. Employers with 50 or more employees, where over 50 percent hold H-1B or L-1 visas, will be required to pay this fee for initial petitions and changes of employers.

Currently, the USCIS grants H-1B visa applicants a residency and work permit after the employer provides sponsorship. This permit is valid for an initial period of three years. The existing 9/11 Response and Biometric Entry-Exit Fee, introduced in 2015, applies only to initial visa petitions and changes of employers. The proposed amendments seek to extend this fee to all H-1B and L-1 visa extension petitions.

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The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that the new fees will not be applied to L-1 or H-1B visa extensions until a final ruling is issued.

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