H1B Visa Cap Reached For 2021; Lottery Will Decide The Lucky Applicants, Not Wage Rule

The US has filled its application limit for the year, Biden to introduce changes

US has reached its yearly limit of H1-B foreign worker visa applications. The Congress mandated limit is 65,000 for FY 2021. Selected candidates would be determined by a computerised lottery system.

Why The US Needs H1-B Hopefuls

American organisations are heavily reliant on H1-B visas which allows them to employ workers from countries such as India and China. These workers would fill the experience and talent gap in the companies seeking to fill out roles in highly specialised, technical and educated competencies. 

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also reported that the limit of 20,000 advanced degree exemption visas, aka the masters’ cap, for the year has also been reached. 

Those not selected have also been informed electronically. The progress of selection and processing of applications exempted from the visa cap or limit is still ongoing. 

Those exempted include workers already employed under H1-B visa who were counted against the cap and those who still have their cap number.

Further Changes In The Offing

The Biden administration is working towards extending the time a visa holder is allowed to remain in the States and changing the terms of employment of those visa holders currently in the US. 

They had also revealed earlier their plans to defer Trump’s H1-B regulation by resuming the lottery system till the end of this year. This is to allow the USCIS more time to “develop, test and implement the modifications to the registration system.”

The erstwhile Trump administration had announced on Jan 7 (13 days before Biden took office) their plans to remove the lottery system in selection of visa candidates. The plan was to hit the floors on March 7, a development that is now deferred till Dec 31, 2021. 

New Citizenship Act On The Horizon

In what should be good news for Indian hopefuls the US Citizenship Act of 2021 is on the way to be revealed in Congress. This plans to do away with per-country cap for employment-based green cards. Also for those waiting for over a decade to receive permanent resident status the Act intends to grant them that status immediately. These people would also be exempted from the visa cap, in a move that will benefit hundreds of thousands of IT professionals and others waiting on the sidelines for several years.
US Govt Delays All H1B Rules Imposed By Trump, learn more.

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