US withdraws Trump’s wage based H-1B selection rule

H-1B visa application approvedThe Trump rule would have changed H-1B selection from lottery to ranking based generally on corresponding wage levels

The Biden administration has withdrawn a rule that would have changed the H-1B visa selection process for high skilled foreign workers linking it to corresponding wage levels in the US industry.

The Department of Homeland Security Wednesday published in the Federal Register a H-1B final rule withdrawing the one issued on Jan. 8, 2021 in the last days of the outgoing Trump administration.

Announcing the withdrawal, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) noted that the rule was vacated by the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Sept. 15, 2021 on a challenge by the US Chamber of Commerce among others.

Read: US judge strikes down new Trump H-1B visa rules (December 2, 2020)

The rule would have changed the way USCIS selects H-1B registrations or petitions, moving away from the current lottery-based system to one by ranking based generally on corresponding wage levels.

Currently Indian tech professionals get more than 70% of the 85,000 H-1B issued to foreigners to meet the shortage of high skilled local workers in the US.

Several industry bodies and companies had opposed the proposal with some going to court.

One of the last rules issued by the administration of former US President Donald Trump, it was supposed to take effect on March 9 this year and would have impacted the H-1B process for financial year 2022.

However, on Feb 8 DHS delayed the effective date of the H-1B Selection Final Rule to Dec 31, 2021 in view of the ongoing litigation in the California court.

Read: US withdraws Donald Trump’s proposed H-1B visa rules, lottery system to continue (December 22, 2021)

For the FY 2023 H-1B numerical allocations, the earliest date that H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed is April 1, 2022, such that registration is likely to commence in early March 2022, DHS announced Wednesday.

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