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Trump admin proposes to scrap a computerized lottery system to select H-1B visas

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H-1B Visas

The Trump government has proposed to scrap the computerized lottery system to give H-1B work visas to foreign technology experts and replace it with a pay level-based selection process. A move that is required to counter the downward pressure on the wages of US workers.

A notice on the new system is being issued in the Federal Register on Thursday. Stakeholders have 30 days to react to the notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Wednesday. Not exactly seven days before the US presidential election.

Replacing the computerized draw of lots to choose the effective H-1B candidates. The DHS said it is required to help counter the downward pressure on the wages of American workers. That is created by a yearly influx of relatively lower-paid, new cap-subject H-1B workers.

The H-1B visa generally searched after among Indian IT professionals. It is a non-immigrant visa that permits US organizations to employ foreign laborers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

If finalized as proposed, US Citizenship and Immigration Services would initially choose registrations (or petitions, if the enlistment cycle is suspended). Generally based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics prevailing wage level. That the offered wage equals or exceeds for the important Standard Occupational Classification code and areas of intended employment.

H-1B Visas

“Prioritization and selection based on wage levels better balances the interests of candidates, H-1B laborers, and U.S. workers,” the DHS said.

“With this proposed rule, the Trump government continuing to deliver on its promise to ensure the American workers. While strengthening the economy. The H-1B program is frequently misused and abused by U.S. employers, and their U.S. clients. Primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” said Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

US President Donald Trump, quick to manage the nation’s immigration policies, on June 22, signed the executive order temporarily banning issuing fresh H-1B and L-1 visas till 31st December 2020. Reforming America’s immigration regime is a major election promise of the Republican leader under his America First policy.

“The current utilization of random selection to allocate H-1B visas makes it harder for organizations to design their employing. Also, neglects to use the H-1B program to genuinely vie for the world’s best and brightest, and damages American workers. By bringing in relatively lower-paid foreign labor at the expense of the American workforce,” Cuccinelli said.

H-1B Cap Selection Process

As indicated by the DHS, altering the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random selection process with a wage-level-based selection process is a better way to allocate H-1Bs when demand exceeds supply.

This new selection process would boost employers to offer higher wages or petition. For positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of utilizing the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies.

The proposed changes would maintain the effective and efficient administration of the H-1B cap selection process. While giving some forthcoming candidates the ability to potentially improve their chance of selection. By agreeing to pay H-1B beneficiaries higher wages that equal or exceed higher prevailing wage levels, it said.

Additionally, this is important that the administration’s goal of prioritizing H-1B cap-subject registrations for petitioners seeking to employ higher-skilled and higher-paid workers. Which is more aligned with the general congressional intent for the H-1B program, the DHS said.

[November 2020 Visa Bulletin]

As indicated by the federal notice, prioritizing wage levels in the registration selection process boosts employers. To offer higher wages, or to petition for positions requiring higher skills that commensurate with higher wage levels. Also, to improve the likelihood of selection for an eventual petition.

Similarly, it disincentivizes abuse of the H-1B program to fill lower-paid, lower-skilled positions. Which is a critical issue under the current selection system. With limited exceptions, H-1B petitioners are not needed to show a work deficiency as an essential for acquiring H-1B workers, it said.

The number of H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those filed for the advanced degree exemption. It has frequently exceeded the yearly H-1B numerical allocations.


For at least the last decade, USCIS has received more H-1B petitions than the yearly H-1B numerical allocation in those respective years.

Since the fiscal 2014 cap season (April 2013), USCIS has gotten more H-1B petitions (or enlistments) in the initial five days of filing (or the initial registration period) than the annual H-1B numerical allocations.

The legislatively commanded H-1B visa has a yearly cap of 65,000 visas.

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