USCIS Announces Proposed H-1B Electronic Registration System to Reduce Costs for U.S. Businesses
March 2, 2011
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is publishing tomorrow a proposed rule that could save U.S. businesses more than $23 million over the next 10 years by establishing an advance registration process for U.S. employers seeking to file H-1B petitions for foreign workers in specialty occupations. The proposed electronic system would minimize administrative burdens and expenses related to the H-1B petition process—including reducing the need for employers to submit petitions for which visas would not be available under the statutory visa cap.
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced the opening of a 60-day comment period that will allow businesses and the general public to provide input on the proposed system in order to ensure it best meets the needs of employers that rely on H-1B visas to bring in foreign workers for specialty occupations.
“The proposed rule would create a more efficient and cost-effective process for businesses interested in bringing workers in specialty occupations to the United States,” he said. “Improving the H-1B petition process is part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to leverage new ideas and innovation to streamline our operations and enhance customer service.”
Under the proposed rule, employers seeking to petition for H-1B workers subject to the statutory cap would register electronically with USCIS—a process that would take an estimated 30 minutes to complete. Before the petition filing period begins, USCIS would select the number of registrations predicted to exhaust all available visas. Employers would then file petitions only for the selected registrations. The registration system would save employers the effort and expense of filing H-1B petitions, as well as Labor Condition Applications, for workers who would be unable to obtain visas under the statutory cap.
The proposed rule, which posted to the Federal Register today for public viewing, contains complete details about the registration system and estimated cost savings. USCIS encourages formal comments on the proposed rule through www.regulations.gov. The comment period runs for 60 days, beginning March 3, 2011, and ending on May 2, 2011.
For more information on the proposed H-1B rule, please see the accompanying Fact Sheet. For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit www.uscis.gov.
Feds targeting fake immigration lawyers
By SUZANNE GAMBOA ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON -- A top federal immigration official is asking states' attorneys general to help him crack down on fake immigration lawyers and educate immigrants on how to spot them.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Alejandro Mayorkas told a group of attorneys general in Washington for a spring meeting that the federal government is eager to work with them to protect vulnerable immigrants and prosecute those who prey on them.
His agency and other federal and state agencies are launching an effort to warn people about the fake immigration lawyers known as "notarios" who charge exorbitant fees and give fraudulent advice to people seeking citizenship, green cards or other immigration benefits.
Seven cities - Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Fresno, Calif., Los Angeles, New York and San Antonio - will serve as test sites.