H-1B Quota Selection Rule: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made the decision to delay the implementation of the rule introducing wage-weighted priority into the H-1B lottery selection system. USCIS declared that it will postpone the effective date of the final rule named “Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions.”
This rule was published on 8th January 2021 and was planned to become effective on 9th March 2021. The new effective date is 31st December 2021, and it will not affect H-1B quota registration for FY2022. USCIS will publish an announcement of this delay in the Federal Register on Monday, 8th February 2021.
However, the rule will change the H-1B lottery process to replace the random lottery with a weighted selection system favoring H-1B registrations. In which employers have agreed to pay the highest wage level in the Department of Labor’s (DOL) four-tiered wage system. To be implemented, USCIS’s online H-1B quota selection system will have to be significantly revised to take into account the employer’s offered wage. The occupational classification, and the wage level in the DOL’s system.
None of this information was needed in last year’s H-1B registration system. The first year an online quota selection system was utilized. With online registration expected to begin at some point in March. USCIS’s announcement delaying this rule implementation confirms what immigration practitioners have been concerned about all along:
H-1B Quota Selection Rule
USCIS won’t have sufficient time to complete system development. Thoroughly test the modifications, train staff, and conduct public outreach needed. To guarantee an effective and orderly implementation of the H-1B Selection Final Rule. By the time the initial registration period will be open for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap season.
This is the latest news for all stakeholders getting ready for registration submissions next month. H-1B registrations for FY2022 will be the same as last year. Thus avoiding a last-minute scramble to protect key information and become familiar with system changes.
Also, the delay announcement confirms that “[d]uring the delay, while USCIS works through the issues related with implementation, DHS leadership will also evaluate the January 8th rule and its associated policies, as is typical of agencies at the start of a new Administration.” This delay announcement doesn’t give an official date when the H-1B registration system will be opened. Registration is required to be opened in March, so stay tuned for an official announcement soon.