A Trump-era rule that sought to link wages to H-1B cap allotments, bites the dust – Times of India

A Trump-era rule that sought to link wages to H-1B cap allotments, bites the dust – Times of India


MUMBAI: The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has formally withdrawn the ‘H-1B Selection Final Rule’, which was issued on January 8, 2021. This rule sought to give priority in the H-1B cap visa selection process to applications offering the highest wage level in the respective occupation category and geographic area.
At present, H-1B visas are allotted based on a random selection process known as the lottery. Post swearing-in, President Joe Biden had announced that his administration would delay the proposed change to the H-1B cap selection system until December 31, 2021. In other words, if the rule posts its examination was accepted by the Biden administration, it would have come into effect for the upcoming H-1B visa selection season, for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2022.
Immigration attorneys were of the view that this rule would have a disastrous impact on small businesses, start-ups, non-profits, rural businesses, and other industries that rely on foreign highly skilled workers, but who are not able to compensate workers at the highest wage level. Even newly qualified international students would find it difficult to gain entry into the US workforce under the H-1B visa route.
Meanwhile, as reported by TOI earlier, on September 15, a US District Court (Northern District of California) vacated this rule. The plaintiffs were led by the US Chamber of Commerce.
The formal withdrawal by DHS follows this court order. However, the US Department of Labour intends to move ahead with its proposal to raise the prevailing wage rates for H-1B and green cardholders. This is different from linking wages with the H-1B allotments. The Winter Agenda has placed the target date for the draft proposal as March 2022. It takes several months before a proposal is finalized and a transition phase is likely to be available.


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