new h1b lottery selection process based on salary
H1B Visa

New H1B Selection Process Based on Salary – Effective from March 2021

USCIS is about to Publish the Final Rule on Jan 8, 2020, that modifies how H1B Visa will be selected.

  • Current Selection Process: Random Selection from Registration
  • New Selection Process: Selection Based on Higher Wages (Salaries) offered

I’m sure you want to know how this new H1B Selection based on Salary will impact you. Keep reading for the analysis.

I thought this comment from the Facebook Group was interesting:

This rule is blessings in disguise for large percentage of F1 students. It will weed out Infosys, TCS cheap labor.

Note: I think Biden Administration could put a hold on implementing this rule. (See below for details). 

USCIS announced that Rule would be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

  • Publishing date: Jan 8, 2020
  • Effective Date: March 9, 2021

I think USCIS loves January 8th for some reason 🙂

The famous Neufeld Memo was also published on Jan 8, 2010. It’s the memo that introduced the Employer-Employee Relationship requirement for H-1B Visa. (Yes, Happy Schools Reported and Published articles about Neufeld Memo).

Digging Deeper into News from USCIS:

new h1b lottery selection based on wages

Pros of This H1B Selection Based on Salary:

According to DHS, here are the benefits of the Rule:

  • May lead to the selection of the most-skilled or most-valued H-1B beneficiaries;
  • May lead to an increase in wages for H-1B beneficiaries;
  • May increase access to entry-level positions for available and qualified U.S. workers;
  • It is expected to reduce uncertainty about selection resulting from a purely randomized process.
  • May incentivize employers to offer higher wages, or to petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled aliens that are commensurate with higher wage levels, to increase the likelihood of selection for cap-subject petition filings.

Prioritization, as compared to a purely random selection process, may reduce uncertainty about the selection. In turn, U.S. employers that might have petitioned for cap-subject H-1B workers to fill relatively lower-paid, lower-skilled positions, may be incentivized to hire available and qualified U.S. workers for those positions. 

H-1B Salary Increase?

According to USCIS:

Modifying the H-1B cap selection process will incentivize employers to offer higher salaries, and/or petition for higher-skilled positions, and establish a more certain path for businesses to achieve personnel needs and remain globally competitive.

Do you think this new selection process will increase the Salary and hiring of Higher Skilled workers?

If you are getting a lower salary will be in a better position to answer.

If your current salary is at Wage Level 1, then as per this new H1B lottery selection, someone else with Level 2 would end up getting selected in the lottery.

Do you think your employer will increase wages?

H1B Program Abuse

According to USCIS:

“The H-1B temporary visa program has been exploited and abused by employers primarily seeking to fill entry-level positions and reduce overall business costs,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow.

What does this mean? Let’s see the data from Congressional Testimony:

top 20 h1b employer median wages ron hira

But, does that mean Amazon, Google, Microsft pay higher wages?

According to this report, that’s not the case.

top h1b wages amazon

It will be fascinating to see how this New Rule will play out for H1B Visa 2022 season starting from March 2020.

My Comments About This Salary Based H1B Lottery Selection

Take the following with the following word of caution.

This new Salary Based H1B Lottery Selection Rule is a 184-page document. I’m still reading through the comments, how it will be implemented, and all the caveats. So, I could come back to change my opinion and I will share the reasons if I do so as well.

1. Entry Level Graduates with Wage Level 1

If you are in Wage Level 1, the chances of getting selected in this new format will be tough. This gives you negotiation power!

Now is the time for you to really know how much your employer really wants you and invested in you.

Some of you might get moved to Wage Level 2 or higher before this upcoming lottery season. Because new Lottery Registration Requires Wage Lebel to be entered.

I think we might see new shiny BMWs in your parking space, but I would ask you to buy a home over a luxury car.

There will be instances, where your employer may not be able to pay more than Wage Level 1. I think the market will change and adapt to the new wage level based lottery selection.

Read – Can Entry Level Wage Level 1 Get Selected in Lottery?

There will be a negative impact on this upcoming H1B Visa lottery season. Because, if a company has to increase the salary of 50 employees from Wage Level 1 to Level 2, it will have budget implications. Maybe with three attempts at the H1B lottery, you could end up getting selected in year 2 or 3.

2. The Unknowns

Take the following two folks applying for the H1B Visa lottery.

  • Wage Level 2 Mechanical Engineer – 80k
  • Wage Level 2 Software Engineer – 90k
  • Wage Level 1 Director – 180k

Who will get selected in the Lottery?

How is this system going to compare between positions?

Then talk about location.

How would they compare an employee in California getting 100k versus someone in the Midwest or east coast getting 100k? This isn’t logical if they weigh both California salary and rest of the US salary.

Do you know the answer? Please share in the comments.

3. Can This rule be Not Implemented?

President Biden has the power to prevent this rule from being implemented.

The Biden White House will issue a memo to take effect afternoon, eastern time on 20 January that will halt or delay midnight regulations actions taken by [President Donald] Trump’s administration that will not have taken effect by the inauguration day.

Also, I read about the Congressional Review Act that would allow congress to prevent implementation of the rule made effection within the last 6 months.

4. Looks like this Rule is an Instant Hit Among Advanced Degree Holders

h1b visa wage salary based lottery selection

Follow the conversation in this Facebook Group Post >>

So, we have to see how this all plays out.

This is breaking news. Stay tuned for updates to this blog post and analysis.


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One Comment

  1. 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.
    Based on the above statement they gonna compare SOC ; area of filling . It means they compare mechanical in Texas to mechanical in Texas but not software with mechanical.

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