H-1B: Nasscom to write to US to scrap wage-based rule

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on February 06, 2021

IT industry body Nasscom is set to write to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to scrap the H-1B visa selection process based on wage level and revert to the earlier lottery system. The wage-based rule was brought in by former US President Donald Trump which now has been put on hold by the new Joe Biden administration.

On February 4, the DHS announced a notice for proposed delay of a rule issued in the final days of the Trump administration that sought to change the existing H-1B visa selection process to prioritisation based on wage level. Prioritising purely on wage levels has the potential to significantly damage some of the most innovative companies in the world along with many hospitals and healthcare providers, research facilities and universities.

Under the proposal, DHS will push the effective date of the rule from March 9 to December 31. Also, during the delay, DHS will review the rule as a whole for potential changes or rescinding it. The notice is to be published in the Federal Register on February 8. Comments on the proposed delay will be accepted for 30 days post-publication. This follows an announcement by the US Department of Labour earlier this week to delay the effective date of the final rule affecting wages for H-1B workers to May 14.

“Nasscom will be filing comments in support of the delay and look forward to sharing our views with DHS as it reviews the rule as a whole,” the IT industry body said in a statement.

Trump’s proposal to do away with the computerised lottery system for H1-B visas would have pushed up business costs for companies, which could result in a significant reduction in visa applications.

Published on February 06, 2021

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