On 10/28/20, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will replace the H-1B visa lottery with a wage-based selection process. Here are a few things to know about the proposed rule and how it will change the current selection process:

  • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. The annual cap for these types of visas is 85,000.
  • Under the current system, the lottery randomly draws from a pool of approved H-1B applications so all applicants have an equal chance of being selected.
  • If approved, the new process will replace the computerized H-1B lottery system with a wage-based selection process.
  • Under the new rule, applicants with higher wage levels will get first priority.
  • Under the new rule, companies are not required to show a labor shortage as a prerequisite for obtaining an H-1B worker.
  • Replacing the random selection process in this manner is expected to help make the wage of the foreign worker equal to or above the wages of U.S. workers.
  • DHS said that the new selection process will better allocate the H-1B visas and give employers more incentive to offer higher wages.
  • Once the rule is published, DHS will open a public comment period in the Federal Register.
  • Interested parties will have 30 days to submit comments relevant to the proposed rule.
  • DHS will review all submitted comments and consider them before issuing a final rule.

Posted in: Immigration