New rules may bring 'false H-1B demand'


Under the proposed rule, employers would initially register electronically by completing a relatively simple form in a process that should take about 30 minutes. The electronic registrations would be used by officials to create a first cut of full registrants. A waiting list would be created if the number H-1B registrations exceeds the cap limit.

The USCIS says that the "main benefit that will result from this rule is that employers that want to hire an H-1B worker will be able to forgo the time, effort, and expense associated with the preparation of a full H-1B petition" and completing U.S. Department of Labor paperwork, "until USCIS notifies the H-1B employer that space exists under the cap."

Some immigration attorneys believe the USCIS plan would create a new way to game the system of applying for H-1B visas.

Brian Halliday, a Cleveland-based immigration attorney, told the USCIS that the proposal seems "like a reasonable idea."

However, in a letter commenting on the proposal, he added that "the reality is that a small handful of U.S. employers - mostly IT consulting companies - use the vast majority of H-1B visa numbers each fiscal year. Their existence depends on getting as many H-1B visa numbers as possible each year; to the detriment of all other H-1B employers in the U.S."