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USA H1B Visa

H1B Visas to Go Through Wage-Based Selection Process

Published on : January 11, 2021


Key Highlights:

  • Overview
  • The New Wage-Based Selection
  • Incoming President Joe Biden
  • The US Department of Labor
  • US DOL Wage System
  • H1B Visa Selection Process
  • Employers Are Concerned
  • Mixed Responses

H1B Lottery system will now be replaced with a wage-based selection.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now finalized a rule to end the H1B work visas' random selection process.

The New Wage-Based Selection

The new wage-based selection process will replace the earlier lottery system. It will eventually favour the highest-paid foreign skilled workers.

The regulation that was announced in October 2020 will apply to petitions for the year 2022. However, employers for this fiscal year will register from 9 March 2021.

Incoming President Joe Biden

It is not yet clear what the incoming president Joe Biden would do for the H1B visa. He may place it on hold and may even repeal it under the Congressional Review Act.

The US Department of Labor

Subject to the cap, the new regulation entitles the H-1B visas to be issued to people in the highest of four wage levels as per the wage system of the Department of Labor (DOL). These wage levels are based on the requirements and duties of the job.  

US DOL Wage System


Foreign Workers

Level I

Entry-Level Workers

Level II

Qualified Employees

Level III

Experienced Employees

Level IV

Fully Qualified Employees


Fully qualified employees mean they have enough work experience to plan, modify, and approve standard procedures.

New H1B Visa Selection Procedure

The highest-paid workers will be selected first. The petitions will then be chosen in descending order through other levels till it reaches the cap. 

The entry-level wages will be selected based on Level I as per this rule.

Employers Are Concerned

The spotlight on pay scale would hurt the employers hiring and recruiting skills from abroad. They usually employ foreign workers who are just starting their careers.

Following this new rule, employers will have to pay the same wages to individuals without work experience as they pay the experienced workers.

Mixed Responses

There have been mixed responses to this new rule. Experts have ridiculed the impact it would make on small and medium businesses.

Topics: Migrate, USA




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