Did you read about the news H1B Visa lottery selection process based on Salary and Prevailing Wage Level?
Read: New H1B Selection Process Based on Salary – Effective from March 2021
Typical Entry-Level Wags will fall under Prevailing Wage Level 1.
Question: Can Entry Level F1, OPT, STEM OPT folks, and other entry-level employees applying for H1B Visa have a shot at getting selected in the H1B Visa Lottery with the new salary based lottery selection process?
Let me show how the Wage Level works.
In this example, if your Salary is say $60,000. Then you are at Wage level 1.
Some with more experience can be earning $85,000 and they are at Wage Level 2.
With the new Salary based H1B lottery selection, if your current Salary is close to the upper Wage level, your employer can bump it up. Like $85,000 is so close to Wage level 3 ($47,714).
Back to the question – If your current Salary is at Level 1, most entry-level folks will be at Wage Level 1 for your location can you get selected in the lottery?
DHS/USCIS has answered this question.
It’s not Good News!
Here’s the actual answer from USCIS:
DHS recognizes that, under this final rule, it is less probable that USCIS will select registrations (or, if applicable, petitions) that reflect a wage level that is lower than the prevailing wage level II.
DHS agrees with the comment that registrations (or, if applicable, petitions) reflecting prevailing wage levels II, III, and IV will have greater chances of being selected compared to the status quo.
Further, recent graduates with master’s or higher degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education already benefit from the advanced degree exemption and cap selection order, as eligibility for that exemption increases their chance of selection.
A registration or petition, as applicable, submitted on behalf of an alien eligible for the advanced degree exemption is first included in the submissions that may be selected toward the regular cap projection.
If not selected toward the regular cap projection, submissions eligible for the advanced degree exemption may be selected toward the advanced degree exemption projection.
This existing selection order increases the chance of selection for registrations or petitions submitted on behalf of aliens who have earned a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education.
While H1B Visa applicants with Wag Level 2, 3, 4 have higher chances of the lottery selection, applicants with Wage Level 1 may not have a shot in lottery selection if this Rule is Implemented.
I’m sure a lot of Entry-Level workers are holding out hope for the upcoming lottery season.
If this was your third attempt and as per USCIS, you should be getting paid at Wage Level 2 or higher.
So, start the conversation with your employer to see if you can move ahead.
By the way, after lottery selection, USCIS will apply their same process of approval, which includes Speciality Occupation (&RFE’s).