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DHS to gather public opinion on H-1B Visa allocation issue

DHS will open a public comment period once the NPRM is published in the Federal Register The Department will review all properly submitted comments.   | Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will gather public opinion on the H-1B visa allocation issue and interested parties will have 30 days to submit comments relevant to the proposed rule and 60 days to submit comments relevant to the proposed information collection, as per a statement posted on its website.

Indian techies have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visa programme. Some 1.84 lakh or 67% of the total H-1B highly-skilled work visas were granted to Indians as of April this year, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data.

DHS will open a public comment period once the NPRM is published in the Federal Register The Department will review all properly submitted comments, consider them carefully, and draft responses before issuing a final rule, it said.

“The current use of random selection to allocate H-1B visas makes it harder for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the H-1B programme to truly compete for the world’s best and brightest, and hurts American workers by bringing in relatively lower-paid foreign labour at the expense of the American workforce,” said Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Deputy Secretary, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DHS has announced the transmission to the Federal Register of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would prioritise the selection of H-1B registrations (or petitions, if the registration process is suspended) based on corresponding wage levels in order to better protect the economic interests of U.S. workers, while still allowing U.S. employers to meet their personnel needs and remain globally competitive, said the statement.

Modifying the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random selection process with a wage-level-based selection process is a better way to allocate H-1Bs when demand exceeds supply, said DHS. If finalized as proposed, this new selection process would incentivize employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of using the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies, it further said.

“With this proposed rule, the Trump administration is continuing to deliver on its promise to protect the American worker while strengthening the economy. The H-1B programme is often exploited and abused by U.S. employers, and their U.S. clients, primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” added Cuccinelli.

This effort would only affect H-1B registrations submitted by prospective petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. It would be implemented for both the H-1B regular cap and the H-1B advanced degree exemption, but would not change the order of selection between the two as established by the H-1B registration requirement final rule, DHS further said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 11:50:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/dhs-to-gather-public-opinion-on-h-1b-visa-allocation-issue/article32976282.ece

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