Proposed Changes to H-1B Lottery

Mario A. Godoy
Proposed Changes to H-1B Lottery

The government has recently proposed changes to the H-1B lottery. The H-1B visa is a temporary visa for foreign nationals who want to work and live in the United States for employment in specialty occupations. With an annual cap of 65,000 and hundreds of thousands of applicants, the visa lottery was put in place to select applicants for review. If passed, the proposed H-1B visa changes will not be in effect for the upcoming FY 2023 visa lottery.

Replace H-1B Lottery With Wage Based System
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a regulation to end the H-1B visa lottery as a “final rule.” The proposed regulation would authorize U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to end the H-1B lottery and instead grant petitions based on registrations starting with the highest salary level and working down. The rule was previously proposed under the Trump administration but did not go into effect due to challenges. The rule was published by USCIS on January 8, 2021, and goes into effect in 60 days if the Biden administration does not take action to stop it. Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, said the proposed rule will have a negative impact on international students:

“The proposed rule is unsound policy, not supported by statute, and will serve only to further undermine the ability of our colleges and universities to recruit and retain international students. H-1B visas serve as a critical pathway for these students. The proposed rule will block these opportunities by imposing a system that grants H-1B petitions based on the highest salary first, locking out many new international graduates of U.S. colleges and universities. Our communities, economy, and country will lose, while other countries that facilitate policies for international students to stay and work will benefit.”

Multiple H-1B Visa Applications Per Applicant
In another proposed change to the H-1B letter, USCIS proposes changes to prevent “gaming” of the H-1B lottery. Under current guidelines, multiple H-1B lottery petitions can be filed for the same employee by different employers. The proposed change would require applicants to file an attestation that the H-1B visa candidate is not being registered by multiple employers.

March 1, 2022, is the first day that USCIS accepts H-1B visa registrations for the 2023 H-1B visa lottery fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2022.

Do You Need Help Applying for the 2023 H-1B Lottery?

A business immigration lawyer works with both employers who want to hire skilled foreign workers and foreign nationals who want to come to the United States to work temporarily or permanently. Contact Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322. Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will and Lake Counties.

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