Trump administration mulls tougher H-1B visa norms
In a new directive, the Trump administration has planned to revive a rule proposed in 2011 to introduce pre-registration for employers planning to hire foreigners under the H-1B visa programme.
Under the new rule, which could go into effect in February, US firms will be required to first electronically register for visas that are subject to an annual cap of 85,000 - 65,000 for foreigners coming in from abroad and 20,000 for foreigners with advanced degrees from US colleges and universities.
Fragomen's latest update on its website said the DHS has indicated it may revive a 2011 proposal that would require H-1B petitioners to preregister for the H-1B cap lottery and to submit cap petitions only after they have won cap numbers.
"The DHS also plans to propose a priority system for allocation of H-1B cap numbers which would give priority to the most highly-paid and highly skilled, consistent with President Trump's 'Buy American, Hire American' executive order," it said in its update.
DHS may also consider changes to H-1B wages. Scott J Fitzgerald, partner in Fragomen Worldwide, said changes to the H-1B cap lottery system are not scheduled to be announced till February next year.
Indian IT firms are the largest users of H-1B visas and non-immigrant visas that allow US firms to temporarily employ foreign workers.