For many companies, the H-1B visa program has been a valuable source for IT talent. The program, which awards 85,000 visas to foreign workers each spring based on a lottery system, has also been met with controversy, not just as a perceived means for replacing American workers but also for the administrative burden of its process, which has had a limiting effect on which companies apply.
But in 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) overhauled the H-1B visa lottery process, promising an easier-to-use, streamlined application process including an online portal. That electronic registration tool, however, was delayed for testing. The pilot program finally wrapped up in December 2019, and the electronic system is now ready for the FY 2021 lottery.