US revises H-1B visa selection process, prioritizes salary and skill level


The Trump administration revised the selection process for the H-1B visa on Friday, preferring salaries, and skills over the current lottery process. A notification in this regard was published in the Federal Register and will come into force in 60 days.

H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to appoint foreign professionals to positions of expertise. Through this visa, American technology companies employ thousands of professionals from India and China.

The next session to apply for an H-1B visa will start on April 1. There are less than two weeks left for President Donald Trump's term, and this notification is considered a fresh attempt to stop the entry of migrants to America.

However, it is too early to say how these amendments will affect Indian companies, as the upcoming Biden administration may review the notification. So far, no company or business body has received any response to the notification.

Trump's foreign policies focused particularly on preventing the entry of migrants, and he imposed travel restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries early in his tenure and continued until Trump's final year. Last week, Trump extended the green card ban to 31 March, along with H-1B visas and other work visas.

Democratic leader Joe Biden has said Trump's immigration policies are cruel and has promised that he will lift the moratorium on H-1B visas after taking oath as president on January 20.

Regarding the latest decision, officials said Thursday that the move is intended to protect the economic interests of American workers and benefit the most skilled foreign workers from the temporary employment program.

USCIS Deputy Director Neeti Joseph Adlo said the H-1B visa program is being used primarily to fill entry-level positions and reduce business costs, which is a misuse of the program.