TCS H1B Visa News

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The H1B is a non immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101, that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Tata Consultancy Services Limited has thousands of highly skilled engineers on H1B who help several American companies succeed and achieve great success continuously.

H1B 2022

TCS is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the H1B visa. Every year hundreds of TCS professionals help organizations succeed with their engineering expertise. The H1B is one of the most coveted visas to work in the United States of America. Every year hundreds of thousands of candidates apply to get this visa. With a quota of around 85,000, only the lucky few get this visa in the lottery. The duration of stay in H1B Visa is limited. The initial visa also might not be provided for the full duration. Thus candidates will have to extend their visa periodically until it reaches the limit.

The H1B visa can also be extended beyond the initial provided limit if the candidate has expressed an intent to immigrate into the United States of America. If the candidate has an EB2 visa processing going on, then using that they can extend the H1B periodically in increments of a few years until the EB2 is approved. The initial documentation phase to apply for the H1B visa might seem overwhelming. But it is important to have good supporting documentation of the job position and your skill sets when applying for the H1B visa. If the supporting documentation is not comprehensive, then the United States Immigration Department will ask for more documentation. There is nothing to be scared of in such a case. This only means that with more documentation your case will be reviewed for further processing.

H1B Visa is critical for American companies who need TCS experts
H1B Visa is critical for American companies who need TCS experts

H1B Lottery 2022

The H1B lottery refers to a random selection process which is used to choose candidates from a large pool of professionals who have applied for the H1B visa. The Regular quota is 65,000 and the Masters quota is 20,000.It started as a computer generated random selection process. The H1B lottery is a mandatory step every year for the processing of the visas because the number of applicants usually exceeds the quota provided. If the number of H1B applicants is less than the quota, then there is no need for the H1B lottery. Today the H1B lottery process is managed completely online. All the data is fed into a computer system.

The lottery is first run for the Masters quota and then for the Regular quota. The order of execution of the different quotas is important because it gives the candidates having Masters a greater chance of being selected. The United States of America prefers professionals having a greater level of education. The Department of Homeland Security in the United States of America believes that the merit-based order of the quotas will help increase Masters students getting H1B visas. If a candidate is not chosen in the lottery, then a rejection letter or status change is provided online and the filing fee is returned to the employer. Thus we can see that the H1B lottery is a fair and appropriate system that is in place to select the best candidates fulfil the provided quota.

TCS H1B professionals also contribute to the US economy by paying huge federal and state taxes
TCS H1B professionals also contribute to the US economy by paying huge federal and state taxes

H1B Visa Stamping in India

The United States consulates and embassies in India. Have changed their schedules of processing United States visa stampings. During the COVID pandemic, all appointments were cancelled, which included H1B visa appointments as well. A specific criteria called National Interest Exception (NIE) is factored in all scenarios. Only candidates who are part of the NIE are accepted. The National interest exception does not apply to any lawful permanent resident of the United States. It also does not apply to any non-citizen national of the United States. It also does not apply to any non-citizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. The exception also does not apply to any non citizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. There is no estimated timeline when the United States consulates or embassies will start processing the H1B visas during the pandemic. They keep updating their portals with the latest status of their activities. Check here for more details. Also, during the United States travel ban, all Dropbox appointments were also cancelled until further notice is provided. However if a Dropbox appointment pertains to a NIE application then it is considered for processing. The NIE presidential proclamation is in the national interest of the United States. The United States Department of State or Department of Homeland Security has the complete authority to define exceptions in cases of visa. The eligibility criteria usually falls under providing vital support for critical infrastructure sectors of the United States for H1B.

H1B Lottery Results 2022 

Due to the nature of completely random selection, it is hard to calculate the probability of H1B lottery success. It depends on the number of petitions submitted into the lottery pool for selection. Based on the number of candidates the lottery can be more tough or easier in that particular year. In some of the years, the number of applications is a lot higher than other years. If a candidate qualifies for the Masters degree, usually the chances of getting selected is higher. Good supporting documentation is also essential for the H1B visa. It is strongly advised that each candidate submits only one application, as submitting more than one application does not increase your chances of getting selected.

The premium processing of H1B lottery does not increase your chances of getting selected. It is an optional service that USCIS offers for some of the petitions. The usual processing time of the H1B lottery is six months. With premium processing, a H1B petition can be processed in 15 calendar days. An important indication that your petition had been chosen by the USCIS is if your application fee check is deposited. This is because the petitions for which the selection is not done, will have their fees refunded. Another way to confirm that you have worn the H1B lottery is to see if your employer has received a 13 digit receipt number. Lottery winners will receive a stamped I-797 form from the immigration and Naturalization services. 

H1B visa applications filed by TCS consistently has between 80% to 90% approvals every year
H1B visa applications filed by TCS consistently has between 80% to 90% approvals every year

H1B Second Lottery 2022

The USCIS will notify employers and their immigration counsel of a second selection lottery. The second lottery will be conducted if the H1B quota of 85,000 has not been reached in that year. In such a scenario, the USCIS will not have received enough H1B petitions to meet the quota. Employers are not required to take any action which will help them get included in the second lottery. The registrations which were already done in the March of the year will be considered. An employer will be able to know if its registration has been selected by the USCIS notification email that will be sent. The chances of getting selected with a Masters or a higher degree is always more. However, even with advanced degree exemption, sufficient amount of documentation and evidence is required to establish the eligibility for existing regulatory requirements.

The status in USCIS shows submitted for several months until the selection process completes. It is important to know that your employer can apply for the H1B lottery even if you are not present inside the United States. You do not need to be present in the United States for your employer to file for the H1B visa. The second lottery definitely helps TCS employees. For those TCS employees who were not selected in the first lottery will have another chance of getting the H1B visa in the second lottery. The H1B visa continues to be very helpful for TCS employees in this way.

H1B Amendment Processing Time

The H1B visa amendment processing time is around 4-6 months. This duration can vary based on the situation of the candidate. There is also a premium processing option ever level which will help reduce the processing time to 15 calendar days. The H1B visa amendment filing fee is around $1,500.There might be other miscellaneous expenses you might need during the process. Usually the employer will file form I-129 for the amendment. An amendment to H1B visa is required if the H1B visa petition has undergone significant changes.  All of the important details are collected in the form of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) which is filed with the United States Department of Labor. The Department of Labor usually provides their approval within 7-10 days. Once the USCIS approves your application, it means that your amendment to the H1B visa is approved. Some scenarios where a H1B visa amendment is required include changes in the terms and conditions of your employment. A change in the work site location of the H1B visa holder will also require a H1B visa amendment. This will also require the employer to get a new LCA. It is important to note that a change in the work site location indicates a significant change from the original location. It is important to comply with the H1B visa amendment rules and regulations. Otherwise the USCIS might take legal action against the employer and the candidate, which might even lead to deportation.

TCS H1B employees can get their visa amendment done if required
TCS H1B employees can get their visa amendment done if required

NIE Letter H1B Guide

A National Interest Exemption (NIE) letter can be required in a variety of scenarios. For example, there might be a scenario where you are going to have a visa interview. Or maybe you have an appointment for drop box, but you are actually not exempted from the travel ban of the pandemic. In such cases. You will have to use a NIE request letter so that you can be considered for the visa approval, and subsequently for the travel to the United States of America. NIE request letter should include your first name, last name, date of birth, gender, country of birth, country of citizenship, your passport number, your visa category, and your travel date. Further, you have to declare that you are on H1B visa and you are working in the United States, providing vital support for an infrastructure sector that is critical. You can also write the letter on humanitarian grounds in context of family separation. You can mention that you want to join your spouse and that you have been stranded in India due to the travel ban. You can mention that you will be with your spouse for as long as he or she has a valid visa to stay in the United States of America. This situation is concerned with the distress that you are undergoing on the humanitarian ground of family separation. You will also need to share valid copies of your spouse’s documents, including passport, I-797 receipt, and I-94.

NIE Letter for H1B can be accepted for TCS professionals in exceptional scenarios
NIE Letter for H1B can be accepted for TCS professionals in exceptional scenarios

H1B Dropbox Eligibility

What is H1B Dropbox? There are situations when you will apply for your United States visa renewal. If you meet a certain criteria then you can get your visa stamped in the passport without attending any in person H1B visa interview. This process, our visa stamping, where you can get your visa stamped without attending an in person Visa interview, is called popularly as H1B Dropbox stamping. This scenario applies for H1B visa renewal as well. To be eligible for H1B Dropbox you should have a H1B visa stamping done already before. The H1B Dropbox is only applicable for H1B visa renewal. In addition, the most recent H1B visa stamping in your passport should have been issued in the same country where you are planning for the H1B Dropbox. For example, if you want to apply for H1B Dropbox for TCS in Mumbai, then your previous H1B visa stamp must have been issued in India as well. Another criteria for the H1B Dropbox is that your H1B visa should have been stamped in your passport after January 1st 2008. Also, your H1B visa stamp in your passport should not have any annotations which say “Clearance Received” or “Department Authorization”. Additionally, the H1B visa stamping in your passport should have been issued after your 14th birthday. The eligibility criteria also requires that your H1B visa stamp in passport was not lost, stolen or cancelled under any circumstances. It is also required that you had no other US visa class refusals since your recent H1B visa was issued. The criteria also requires that your H1B visa should be valid or expired within the last 12 months. Some exceptions might be considered during the pandemic situation.

H1B Dropbox Eligibility Criterion for TCS
H1B Dropbox Eligibility Criterion for TCS

Biden on H1B

The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, would like to address the delays in the processing of the green cards of the H1B candidates. This includes a large number of TCS professionals who have been waiting in queue for years. The Green Card is officially known as the Permanent Resident Card. The Permanent Resident Card is a document which is issued to immigrants to the United States. It is evidence that they have been granted the privilege of residing permanently in the United States. Like most Indian IT professionals, TCS engineers are highly skilled. And they also suffer the most due to long waiting times. The White House press secretary told the reporters that the president wants to address this concern. The TCS Professionals form a large energetic workforce in the United States of America supporting several prestigious corporations. Several technology companies depend on TCS to provide them with hundreds of skilled experts each year. The President of the United States of America has stressed that improving the immigration backlog is a priority for them. Streamlining of unused visas during exceptional situations can improve the situation. We also need to remember that along with each TCS employee, there are family members associated as well, who have to live in uncertainty. Indian IT professionals, mainly from reputed large organizations like TCS, are beneficiaries of the most coveted H1B visa every year. The H1B professionals in the United States play a significant role in helping shape the technological landscape, as well as contribute significantly to the economy by paying huge amounts of federal and state taxes that indirectly help sponsor the scholarship of several US students.

President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are focused on TCS H1B and Green Card concerns
President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are focused on TCS H1B and Green Card concerns
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