DHS Proposes Rule to Replace H1B Lottery With Wage-Based Selection Process

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to allocate H-1B visa based on wage levels instead of the lottery system starting April 2021. The proposed rule will end the random selection process used in the current H1B lottery system. DHS is proposing to replace it with one that prioritizes H-1B registrations based on wage-levels. If this rule is enacted, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will rank and select the H-1B lottery registrations received on the basis of the highest OES wage level that the offered wage would equal or exceed for the relevant SOC code.

This wage level would be in the area of intended employment, beginning with OES wage level IV and proceeding in descending order with OES wage levels III, II, and I.

If the employer submitted a non-OES wage survey with a lower salary than the OES level 1, then USCIS will count it as Level 1 for the purpose of lottery selection.

The wage level ranking would occur first for the regular cap selection and then for the advanced degree exemption.

  • Select an H1B candidate based on the highest-paid wages first when there are more applications than the yearly quota of 85,000 applications.
  • The random selection by lottery will be abolished.

The rule will be implemented for both H-1B regular cap and H-1B advanced degree candidates. The order of selection will remain the same though.

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