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Biden doing everything to improve visa process, GC backlog: White House on Indian Americans concern

Jean-Pierre was responding to questions about the feeling among a section of Indian Americans that the president is not putting as much effort into addressing the woes of legal immigrants as he is doing for illegal immigrants.

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Washington Updated on: February 29, 2024 11:18 IST
US visa backlogs
Image Source : PIXABAY Representational Image

Washington: US President Joe Biden is doing everything he can to improve the process related to the sought-after H-1B visa, Green Card backlog and other issues related to the country's legal immigration system, the White House has said. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

"One of the steps, if we look at the H-1B visa process, we have taken action to improve that and the process and backlog for lawful permanent residents (Green Card) who are eligible to become US citizens," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference on Wednesday. A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.

Jean-Pierre was responding to questions about the feeling among a section of Indian Americans that the president is not putting as much effort into addressing the woes of legal immigrants as he is doing for illegal immigrants.

Biden heads to the southern border with Mexico in Texas on Thursday. "Just last month, for example, as a part of our efforts to strengthen the integrity of our immigration system and reduce the potential for fraud, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule relating to H-1B visa," Jean-Pierre said.

"So, the changes promote fairer and more equitable outcomes and, so, we will continue our work to improve the system within our authorities and that has certainly been a priority," she said and added that the administration takes that "very seriously" and is continuing to do everything that it can to improve the visa process.

US launches myUSCIS organisational accounts

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the launch of myUSCIS organisational accounts that will allow multiple people within an organisation, as well as their legal representatives, to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations, H-1B petitions and any associated Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. A new organisational account is required to participate in the H-1B Electronic Registration Process starting in March 2024, the USCIS said. 

"We are working expeditiously to address any technical issues that may arise for legal representatives whose accounts migrated when they logged into their online account on or after February 14, 2024, including impacts on cases other than H-1B filings," it said. The initial registration period for FY 2025 H1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 6, and run through noon Eastern on March 22.

Rules for H1-B visa 

During this period, prospective petitioners and their representatives, if applicable, must use a USCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated registration fee for each beneficiary, its media alert said. Starting with the FY 2025 initial registration period, USCIS will require registrants to provide valid passport information or valid travel document information for each beneficiary.

The passport or travel document provided must be the one the beneficiary, if or when abroad, intends to use to enter the US if issued an H1B visa. Each beneficiary must only be registered under one passport or travel document.

"In March, we will launch online filing of Form I-129 and associated Form I-907 for non-cap H1B petitions. On April 1, USCIS will begin accepting online filing for H1B cap petitions and associated Forms I-907 for petitioners whose registrations have been selected,” the federal agency said.

To help guide organisations and legal representatives through the new process, the USCIS launched the Tech Talks sessions in February 2024. During these sessions, individuals can ask questions about the organisational accounts and online filing of Form I-129 for H1B petitions.

The USCIS encourages all individuals involved in the H1B registration and petition filing process to attend these sessions. Additional information and dates are available on the Upcoming National Engagements page, it said.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: US hikes visa fees of several categories including H1-B, EB-5 which are most popular among Indians

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