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H-1B Visa General Cap 65,000 For 2016

H-1B Visa PassportFor the 2016 fiscal year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the H-1B general-cap would be 65,000. This means that only 65,000 applicants for a general H-1B nonimmigrant visa would be accepted for this fiscal year through the computer-generated random selection process, or lottery. For those not selected for an H-1B visa, the USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees.

What do you do if you were not selected for H-1B lottery?

If you have not been selected for H-1B lottery, there are some alternative visa options available to work in the US. There are:

TN Visa

A TN visa is available to citizens of Mexico or Canada. A TN Visa holds some similar attributes to that of an H-1B Visa in that the TN Visa holder may work for up to three years at a time. A unique feature that differentiates a TN Visa from an H-1B Visa is that a TN Visa may be renewed indefinitely. Continue reading H-1B Visa General Cap 65,000 For 2016

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New Regulations for F-1 STEM OPT

The core education subjects known as STEM for science,technology,engineering and math in white text on stylized hands and arms on a square paper background

As of May 10, 2016 a revised STEM OPT program, that, inter alia, places new requirements on employers who have hired an international student on the F-1 visa, will go into effect. These new requirements are only required when seeking a grant of STEM OPT under the new regulations. In this article, we will focus on those requirements that concern employers.

What do the new changes mean for employers?

These new regulations require employers to keep training records for the students obtaining the OPT. Furthermore, employers will be required to complete a training plan for each F-1 on a STEM extension and update the plan if there are any changes to the F-1 program. The employer shall conduct evaluations of the F-1 through the STEM extension period and submit said evaluations to the DSO. The new rule provides for 24 months of STEM-OPT as opposed to 17 months that was allowed under the old rule.

These new requirements will only affect the employers of F-1s who are working on a STEM OPT that was approved under the new regulations. These new regulations will not be effective during the first 12 months of the F-1s OPT or during the 17 month STEM OPT if it was approved before May 10, 2016. Continue reading New Regulations for F-1 STEM OPT

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