The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a restructuring of the H-1B lottery process, replacing the random lottery system with a wage-based selection process. The proposed process would give preference to those with the highest salary level for their occupations. This proposal is not yet effective and the DHS will accept comments to the proposed rule which may cause revisions.
If implemented, the proposal will make it more difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to hire H-1B workers, as a wage-based selection process will greatly favor larger companies with the necessary capital to allocate to higher salaries .
The move is one of many in the last months to place restrictions on the H-1B program. In early October, the Department of Labor issued a new rule which drastically increased the prevailing wage requirements for H-1B, and the Department of Homeland Security also released a rule to limit what qualifies as a “specialty occupation” for H-1B purposes.
Legalpad is following the proposal closely and will continue to provide updates as they are announced. In the meantime, please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about alternative options to the H-1B, such as the O-1 “Alien of Extraordinary Ability” visa.