H1B Lottery Registration set to begin for the 2nd Year without change to the Prevailing Wage
On January 20, 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration issued an Executive Order that all rules from the prior administration that were pending at the Federal Register but had not been published must be immediately withdrawn. In addition the Biden-Harris Administration ordered all federal agencies to “consider” postponing the effective dates for regulations that have been published, but not yet taken effect, for 60 days .
The following day, on January 21, 2021, the Department of Labor, which may soon be run by former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, announced that it has withdrawn the Office of Foreign Labor Certification H-1B Program Bulletin and a Wage and Hour Division Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) which had altered the prevailing wage determinations for H-1B Visas and as such the bulletins are no longer in effect.
This was an important first step to the “normalization” of immigration procedures, after 4 years of disruptive and unproductive chaos. The changes that had been proposed were going to be harmful to American workers, American businesses and most importantly American consumers. The rules would have required U.S. companies to pay foreign workers under an H-1B Visa substantially higher wages, which would have disrupted and damaged industries during a world-wide economic crisis. Fortunately that has been stopped.
Otherwise in 2021, the basic H-1B Visa requirements and procedures are expected to remain the same as last year. Companies who intend to sponsor a petition for an H-1B visa which is subject to the “cap,” will have to create an account with USCIS and then register each beneficiary they intend to sponsor for the H-1B lottery in March 2021. If the H-1B visa is selected in the lottery, then the employer may submit a complete H-1B visa petition on a Form I-129 and Form I-129H Supplement. To date, the exact dates for these procedures have not been released yet.
An alternative to entering the H-1B lottery, or if your H-1B registration is not selected in the lottery, maybe an Employment-based Residency petition. Currently, employment-based green cards have reduced visa wait times for people from most countries and these petitions are not subject a lottery system. Also, remember that an employer may initiate an employment green card petition before, at the same time or after they apply for your H-1b visa.
If you have an employer willing to sponsor you and think you are eligible for an H1b Visa for professional workers or an Employment Green Card petition, call our office to schedule an appointment with one our immigration lawyers at 617-303-2600 or schedule your appointment online. For these cases, we recommend that you schedule the appointment together with your employer.