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USCIS Delays Wage-Based Selection Process for H-1Bs

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On February 4, 2021, USCIS announced that it was delaying the effective date of the final rule that would have altered the way H-1Bs were allocated in the lottery process. See here.  Under the rule entitled “Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioner Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions”, USCIS would use a wage-based selection process in which petitions involving higher wage positions would be preferred.  The effective date of that rule has now been delayed until December 31, 2021.

For the upcoming H-1B lottery season, USCIS has said it  will apply the “current regulations (random selection)” – or in other words, the same registration and selection process as it did last year.  If the agency uses the same deadlines, this means that employers can begin submitting registrations on March 1st with a deadline to submit registrations approximately 20 days later.  Last year USCIS notified an initial batch of registrants in or around March 31 if their petitions had been selected. The period submitting the actual H-1B petition ran from April 1 through June 30.

Employers interested in sponsoring a foreign national for an H-1B petition should ensure that the position qualifies for a specialty occupation and that the foreign national hold the necessary educational credentials or experience to be considered a professional.