USCIS Issues Damaging Rules Targeting FY-2022 H-1B Cap
The certification process of the 2020 presidential election results ended in a riot at the Capitol. No matter what, the Biden-Harris administration’s victory is now official. Biden had shown his friendly attitude towards immigrants and foreign nationals since early in his campaign. He has promised to implement numerous immigration-friendly programs after his inauguration.
Those who seek immigration statuses were relieved to see Biden’s victory over Trump. Finally, as we approach January 20th, the day the new president will be sworn in, the four stressful years for status seekers are about to end. Everyone is excited for the loosened tension on immigration matters, but at the same time, there is also a warranted sentiment of nervousness among foreign nationals.
Donal Trump will still hold office until the very day of January 20th. That means he is still equipped with almost the same presidential powers as before until then. What if his loss pushes him to introduce more damaging immigration rules and bans?
This worrying came true on January 7th. A day after the election’s certification, USCIS issued final wage rules for H-1B visas. If not suspended, this rule will impact the FY-2022 H-1B selection process enormously.
The new rules establish selection methods for FY-2022 H-1B visas. Similar to a rule introduced but soon suspended months before, these final rules attempt to make wage the determining factor when viewing petitions. Applicants with average or low income will have much tougher chances of being approved.
There are four wage levels determined by USCIS. Level IV is the highest and Level I the lowest. Before the final rules, no matter which level of wage is earned, everyone stands equal chances since they are subject to a random selection, or a lottery. Only those selected are eligible to continue the application process.
The final rules will grant priority to those earning Level IV wages. After all qualified Level IV applicants are admitted, USCIS will begin to review Level III applications. The process will repeat for the two lower levels until the quota is reached.
The rule will take effect on March 9th, before the 2022-FY selection. If the rule stays in effect, there is no doubt that many applicants this year will be disadvantaged.
However, there is no reason to be discouraged. The Biden-Harris administration will be inaugurated long before the rule becomes effective. It is almost for sure that Biden will halt Trump’s executive orders soon after his presidency begins.
Even if Biden does not take action on this rule, it will likely face challenges in court. Congress has ruled that H-1B petitions must be reviewed in the order of their submissions rather than the applicants’ wage levels.
After four years of intense restrictions on immigration, hope is finally near. With the H-1B season is once again approaching us quickly, we strongly recommend you to take advantage of the four-year “golden window” for immigration brought by the new president. Our team has years of experience with H-1B petitions, and we have helped countless applicants obtain their visas. We are ready to provide you the most professional and reliable services.