USCIS Modifies H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is making changes to the H-1B selection process.

What is H-1B?

H-1B is a temporary visa offered to people with specialty occupations, DOD cooperative research and development project workers, and fashion models.

Who is Eligible?

Some requirements for a specialty occupation include:

  • Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge
  • Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

According to uscis.gov, some requirements for a DOD cooperative research and development project include:

The job must require a bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent, to perform the duties.  You must also submit:

  1. A verification letter from the DOD project manager for the particular project stating that the beneficiary will be working on a cooperative research and development project or a coproduction project under a reciprocal Government-to-Government agreement administered by DOD.
  2. A general description of the beneficiary’s duties on the particular project and the actual dates of the beneficiary’s employment on the project.
  3. A statement indicating the names of aliens currently employed on the project in the United States and their dates of employment and the names of aliens whose employment on the project ended within the past year.

If you are a fashion model you are eligible if:

  • The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence.
  • You must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.

What is the H-1B process?

Currently, the H-1B uses a lottery system to determine who will receive this status. But, changes are being made to the selection process.

What Modifications are Being Made?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the Department) “is amending its regulations governing the process by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B registrations for the filing of H-1B cap-subject petitions (or H-1B petitions for any year in which the registration requirement is suspended), by generally first selecting registrations based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage level that the proffered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and area(s) of intended employment,” according to USCIS.gov.

Who Will Be Affected?

This effort will only affect H-1B registrations submitted by prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions

When Will the Changes go Into Effect?

The rule will go into effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to our firm today.

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