The Trump administration has once again changed H-1B visa norms by amending regulations to prioritize higher wages and skills for selecting deserving candidates.
According to an announcement published by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the amendments on the H-1B cap selection process will push employers to offer higher salaries and “establish a more certain path for businesses”, VisaGuide.World reports.
The USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow has stressed that the H-1B temporary visa program has been used and abused by employers “primarily seeking to fill entry-level positions and reduce overall business costs.”
“The current H-1B random selection process makes it difficult for businesses to plan their hiring fails to leverage the program to compete for the best and brightest international workforce and has predominantly resulted in the annual influx of foreign labour placed in low-wage positions at the expense of US workers,” Edlow pointed out.
The US States Department of Labor data reveals the wage levels that would help employees to be qualified through a combination of the education as well as the experience required for this job.
- Level 1 (entry-level)
- Level 2 (qualified)
- Level 3 (experienced)
- Level 4 (fully competent)
If permitted, the rules mentioned above would cause difficulties for the business sector in the United States.
Trump Administration’s Suggested H-1B Regulations
In September, President Donald Trump’s administration announced that it sent the proposed amendment to the H-1B visa program to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
The main reason for the amendment was to clearly define what “special occupations” would be included in the H-1B visa program.
Back then, it was also clarified that the regulation would be released by the federal agency, after the White House regulatory office reviews, in order to be ready for introduction for public comments.
However, in December, a US District Court decided to abolish two H-1B visa regulations, imposed by President Trump’s administration, which would not permit companies to hire international employees.
The regulations that were planned to take effect from December 7 were also opposed by many universities, businesses, research organizations etc., which claimed that such regulations would impede the program’s function.
The H-1B visa, also known as a Person in Specialty Occupation Visa permits internationals interested in fields such as lawyers, IT specialists, architects, professors, doctors, accountants to work in the United States i.
The H1-B visa program was initiated in 1952, after the United States started to enlarge its occupancy in different fields such as technology, science, engineering and mathematics, therefore the need to hire workers to get engaged in these areas also increased year by year.
Denial Rates of H-1B Visas Remain High
A total of 85,000 H-1B work permits are issued yearly by the United States administration. 65,000 of these visas are dedicated to persons with speciality occupations, while the rest are given for international workers who own a Master or higher degree in the United States.
In December, VisaGuide.World reported that in 2020, H1-B denial rates remained high, compared to 2019. Yet, the figures revealed that the denial rate declined during the third quarter of FY 2020 due to the new way the USCIS decided to select petitions for the annual H-1B program.