The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that they will switch to a new system for conducting the most favored H-1B visa lottery this year, and all the foreign workers who hold American advance degrees will be given higher priority.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides the H-1B visa to 65,000 foreign workers each year, and an additional 20,000 under the Masters cap to applicants having an advanced degree from US colleges. As per the current system, the “Masters cap” lottery is conducted first and then the petitions not selected in that round are placed into “Regular cap” for second round of random selection. But as per the latest draft of new system issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the entire lottery process will be reversed to give better priority to those who hold a US master’s (or higher degree).
The new system will be implemented for the upcoming fiscal 2020 H-1B filing season, which starts from April 1, under which, “the USCIS will first run the regular H-1B cap lottery to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 H-1B quota, and then run a lottery to select enough qualifying petitions for the remaining 20,000 Master cap quota. The reversal will increase the proportions of beneficiaries with US advance degrees by 16 percent, and hence, will serve Donald Trump’s key agenda of “Buy American, Hire American”, even among foreign workers.
Nonetheless, this will give better opportunities to skilled workers having higher qualifications and degrees from American universities, but the new system can jab the Indian tech sector – which widely uses the H-1B visas. Thousands of highly skilled IT professionals from reputed Indian institutes like the IIT will have lower chances of getting H-1B, compared to someone holding a US degree with or without desired skills. On the flip side, the new rule will attract more students to pursue masters from the US, which will increase the country’s educational income and also boost demands in the country.