Trump administration proposes to scrap computerised lottery system to select H-1B visas

Quite a few H-1B visas are allotted to employees of India-centric IT companies and a wage level-based selection could significantly increase the cost of deploying software engineers on projects in the United States, the analysts said.

Agencies
This new selection process would incentivise employers to offer higher wages.
Bengaluru: The United States’ decision to replace a lottery-based system for H-1B visas with a wage-based selection process could restrict talent movement by Indian and India-centric IT services companies, as the rule aims to rank petitions on the highest wage offered by employers, analysts said.

In the existing system, foreign professionals and students with US college degrees compete for H-1B visas in a lottery.

Quite a few H-1B visas are allotted to employees of India-centric IT companies and a wage level-based selection could significantly increase the cost of deploying software engineers on projects in the United States, the analysts said.


In the last four years, successive restrictive measures by US President Donald Trump’s administration have favoured US technology companies for the work permit over Indian IT services companies.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that modifying the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random method with a wage-level-based one ‘is a better way to allocate H-1B visas when demand exceeds supply’.

“If finalised as proposed, this new selection process would incentivise employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of using the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies,” DHS said.
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“With this proposed rule, the Trump administration is continuing to deliver on its promise to protect the American worker while strengthening the economy. The H-1B program is often exploited and abused by US employers, and their US clients, primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting DHS Deputy Secretary.

Cuccinelli added that the current use of random selection to allocate H-1B visas makes it harder for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the H-1B programme to truly compete for the world’s best and brightest, and hurts American workers by bringing in relatively lower-paid foreign labour at the expense of the American workforce.

Analysts said the rule could affect talent movement by technology services companies.

“If this regulation is implemented, Indian companies would be able to only bring in professionals who are at wage level IV. Only the top-level employees would be able to enter the US,” said Rajiv Khanna, managing partner at Immigration.com.
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“There has to be a balance between businesses’ need to have qualified people to work and protecting the US workforce. The public perception about effectiveness and the need for the H-1B programme is highly misunderstood,” he added.

The rule is not logical as it may not help the administration allot H-1B visas to highly skilled professionals, said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at immigration law firm LawQuest.
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“If this rule is passed, the USCIS could implement it in many ways. For example, they could use an algorithm to select petitions based on the highest wage offered and people at Level IV and III jobs would get selected just because of their salaries,” Chothani said.

Selections based purely on salary could, however, create anomalies, she added.

Donald Trump intends to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas
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According to a PTI report, the Donald Trump administration has proposed to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas to foreign technology professionals and replace it with a wage-level-based selection process. Replacing the computerised draw of lots to decide on the successful H-1B applicants, the Department of Homeland Security said it is expected to help counter the downward pressure on the wages of American workers that is created by an annual influx of relatively lower-paid, new cap-subject H-1B workers.

According to a PTI report, the Donald Trump administration has proposed to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas to foreign technology professionals and replace it with a wag..
Read More

The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. If finalised as proposed, US Citizenship and Immigration Services would first select registrations (or petitions, if the registration process is suspended) generally based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics prevailing wage level that the offered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification code and areas of intended employment.

The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or techni..
Read More

“With this proposed rule, the Trump administration is continuing to deliver on its promise to protect the American worker while strengthening the economy. The H-1B programme is often exploited and abused by U.S. employers, and their U.S. clients, primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” said Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

“With this proposed rule, the Trump administration is continuing to deliver on its promise to protect the American worker while strengthening the economy. The H-1B programme is often exploited and ab..
Read More

US President Donald Trump, keen to regulate the country's immigration policies, on June 22, signed the executive order temporarily banning issuing fresh H-1B and L-1 visas till December 31. Reforming America's immigration regime is a major election promise of the Republican leader under his America First policy. “The current use of random selection to allocate H-1B visas makes it harder for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the H-1B programme to truly compete for the world's best and brightest, and hurts American workers by bringing in relatively lower-paid foreign labour at the expense of the American workforce,” Cuccinelli said.

US President Donald Trump, keen to regulate the country's immigration policies, on June 22, signed the executive order temporarily banning issuing fresh H-1B and L-1 visas till December 31. Reforming..
Read More

According to the federal notification, prioritising wage levels in the registration selection process incentivises employers to offer higher wages, or to petition for positions requiring higher skills that commensurate with higher wage levels, to increase the likelihood of selection for an eventual petition. Similarly, it disincentives abuse of the H-1B programme to fill lower-paid, lower-skilled positions, which is a significant problem under the present selection system. With limited exceptions, H-1B petitioners are not required to demonstrate a labour shortage as a prerequisite for obtaining H-1B workers, it said.

According to the federal notification, prioritising wage levels in the registration selection process incentivises employers to offer higher wages, or to petition for positions requiring higher skill..
Read More

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