In a final rule published on January 8, 2021 and set to become effective on March 9, 2021, USCIS will modify the H-1B cap-subject pre-registration requirement "by generally first selecting registrations based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage level that the proffered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and area(s) of intended employment." Currently, cap-subject registrations received during the registration period are counted in a random selection process.
- Read the final rule, published at 86 FR 1676 (January 8, 2021), effective March 9, 2021
- Read a USCIS news release
The preamble to the final rule states that "USCIS will engage in public outreach and provide training to the regulated public on the modified registration system in advance of its implementation." As the effective date of the final rule falls after January 20, 2021, the date the new administration takes office, it is unclear whether the effective date might be delayed by a general "regulatory review" order, as has been the custom in recent administrations.
DHS had proposed this rule on November 2, 2020. NAFSA participated in the public comment process, signing on to the following comment letters:
- December 2, 2020 multi-sector organization comment letter coordinated by the Compete America Coalition, on the proposed rule's substantive provisions
- December 2, 2020 multi-stakeholder comment letter coordinated by the Compete America Coalition, "expressing concerns with the unusually short 30-day comment period for the H-1B lottery prioritization NPRM."