H1B visas are awarded to highly educated or skilled workers who are petitioned for by sponsor employers. President Biden has already implemented several immigration policy shifts since taking office. Policy shifts affecting H1B visas and the yearly H1B visa cap are discussed in this FAQ.
What Immigration Policy Shifts Should We Expect Under President Biden?
Under President Biden, we should expect continual shifts in favor of immigration into the United States. Biden campaigned on the promise that he would modernize the United States immigration system to process immigration petitions more quickly and efficiently and reclaim the United States as a nation of immigrants. This can result in higher yearly caps for H1B visas and other types of immigration filings such as asylum.
In one example of an immigration policy shift in favor of immigrants, on January 7, 2021, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that going forward, they will no longer use the lottery system that was traditionally used to determine which applicants are selected for H1B visas and will use a wage-based selection process instead. This system ranks registrants by wage level, encouraging employers to offer higher pay by prioritizing higher-waged applicants.
What is the Yearly Cap on H1B Visas?
The United States has set a cap of 85,000 H1B visas in total that are available each year to workers. 65,000 of these visas are reserved for H1B visa regular cap, while the remaining 20,000 are reserved for H1B visa advanced degrees or “master's cap.” Once the cap is reached, and there are more applicants than potential H1B visas available, a lottery system is used to determine who the successful candidates are. Potential employers of successful candidates have 90 days to submit their H1B visa petitions after USCIS has selected them. If you are looking for specific legal advice, make sure you speak to an experienced immigration attorney.
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