iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
The United States on Thursday announced that it will modify the selection process for H-1B visa, giving priority to salary and skills, instead of the current lottery procedures.
The final rule to be published in the federal register on January 8, officials said, is aimed to protect the economic interests of US workers and better ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Modifying the H-1B cap selection process will incentivize employers to offer higher salaries, and/or petition for higher-skilled positions, and establish a more certain path for businesses to achieve personnel needs and remain globally competitive, said US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The final rule will be effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. The next H-1B visa filing season is slated to start on April 1.
“The H-1B temporary visa program has been exploited and abused by employers primarily seeking to fill entry-level positions and reduce overall business costs,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow.
“The current H-1B random selection process makes it difficult for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the program to compete for the best and brightest international workforce, and has predominantly resulted in the annual influx of foreign labor placed in low-wage positions at the expense of US workers,” he said.
This effort will only affect H-1B registrations (or petitions, if the registration process is suspended) submitted by prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.