H-1B Final Rule to end H-1B visa lottery: published on January 8, 2021, goes into effect on March 9, 2021

  • What Would the Rule Do and Who Would It Exclude?: Instead of the H-1B lottery, the USCIS will receive registrations before the start of a new fiscal year (probably before the first of April) and if more registrations are submitted than the current H-1B limit allows, the agency will approve petitions based on their wage – from the highest to the lowest.
  • The same process will be applied for the 65,000 petitions that are under the annual limit and the 20,000 petitions for individuals with an advanced degree from a U.S. univerity.
  • The regulation would authorize U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to end the H-1B lottery and instead grant petitions based on registrations starting with the highest salary level and working down. 
  • Attorneys and businesses argue the regulation violates the statute and makes it difficult to obtain new H-1B petitions for younger workers, particularly international students and information technology professionals.