DHS Announces Changes to the H-1B Visa Program

The Department of Homeland Security announced changes to the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program effective March 9, 2021 which include:

  • Replacing the random lottery system currently in place used to issue the annual quota of 85,000 new visas with a selection system that would favor petitions with higher salary offers.
  • All H-1B registrants would first go through the new process to fill the 65,000 standard openings and the remaining unselected registrants with advanced US degrees would be run through the 20,000 Master’s Cap allotment, which uses the wage-based process.

The Final Rule could be suspended, congressionally overturned, or challenged in federal court before changes are implemented.

Nonimmigrant visa programs, such as the H-1B, support skilled workers, research, and investment while allowing employers to fill gaps in their workforce and remain globally competitive. The Chamber continues to advocate in support of nonimmigrant visa programs highlighting the positive impact they have on our local and national economy.