WASHINGTON: The process of filing petitions for H-1B visa has begun amidst unprecedented scrutiny by United States President Donald Trump's administration.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the federal agency responsible to process the visas, has indicated that there will be zero tolerance for even minor errors.
H-1B is considered as the most sought-after work visa among highly-skilled Indian professionals.
It is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Earlier in March, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services had announced that it will temporarily suspended the premium processing for the H-1B visa.
"The USCIS will begin accepting applications for the fiscal year 2019 (October 2018 to September 2019) from April 2. The suspension will last until September 10," the body had said.
"This temporary suspension will help us reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to.process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years," the USCIS added.
The Donald Trump administration recently announced a new measure, making the approval of H-1B visa more tougher.
As per the new policy, any company will have to make one more clarification to prove that its H-1B employee at a third-party worksite has specific and non-qualifying speculative assignments in a speciality occupation.
The updated policy is a part of Trump's "Buy American and Hire American" Executive Order, which directs to protect the interests of US workers.
According to the US administration officials, the scrutiny is needed to ensure the integrity of the controversial visa programme, which according to critics has cost American jobs.