The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Jan. 7 announced a final rule modifying the H-1B visa cap selection process. As against the current randomised lottery system, the newer system will prioritise wages to protect US jobs and ensure only the creme de la creme are allocated H-1Bs, according to the notification.
“The current H-1B random selection process makes it difficult for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the program to compete for the best and brightest international workforce, and has predominately resulted in the annual influx of foreign labour placed in low-wage positions at the expense of US workers,” said USCIS deputy director for policy Joseph Edlow.
This final rule will be effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register, on March 9. Going by this timeline, the system would come into effect before this year’s H-1B cycle. That is, of course, unless incoming president Joe Biden suspends or rescinds it after assuming power.
“The announcement, which comes with less than two weeks left in president Donald Trump’s tenure, is the latest effort to bar the entry of immigrants to the US,” New York-based immigration attorney Neil A. Weinrib wrote in his Jan. 9 newsletter. “However, it is widely expected that the incoming Biden administration will rescind the implementation of the rule.”