WASHINGTON: The Biden administration on Friday issued a formal notice to delay implementation of the former Trump regime’s controversial rule to raise the mandatory minimum wage for foreign workers on the H-1B visa, which is under Indian IT professionals are most in demand.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that U.S. companies can use to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The tech companies rely on hiring tens of thousands of employees from countries like India and China every year.
The Ministry of Labor said in its federal notice published on Friday that it was considering proposing a further delay in the entry into force of the final regulation and associated implementation deadlines, which are currently scheduled to come into effect on May 14, 2021 and July 1, 2021, respectively.
Before the entry into force date and implementation deadlines are further postponed, the department will give the public the opportunity to comment, it said.
On February 1, the Department of Labor proposed the effective date of the final regulation entitled “Strengthening Wage Protection for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Foreign Nationals in the United States,” published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2021 postpone a period of 60 days.
The department proposed that the effective date of the final rule be postponed to May 14, 2021, in accordance with the President’s announcement from the President’s Assistant and Chief of Staff entitled “Regulatory Freeze” contained in the January 20, 2021 memorandum.
As stated in the proposal, the 60-day delay would allow the agency’s officials to review any questions about fact, law, or policy. The department asked the public for 15 days for written comments on the proposed delay in entry into force. All comments had to be received by February 16, 2021.
The department received 57 comments from the stakeholder community. It has examined the comments received in response to the proposal and will postpone the entry into force date of the final rule for a period of 60 days, the notice said.
According to Mercury News, major Silicon Valley tech companies that employ H-1B employees directly and through recruitment firms are relying heavily on the visa, pushing for the 85,000 annual cap on new visas to be raised, claiming they have more of need them to secure the visa worlds best talent.
“Critics point to abuse, claiming that the visa is being used by outsourcers and human resources companies, as well as technology giants, to replace US workers with cheaper foreign labor, lower wages and facilitate outsourcing,” it said.
The rule is a broadcast from the administration of former President Donald Trump, who proposed changes to proposed mandatory salaries after losing a lawsuit against organizations like the Bay Area Council over an initial version.
If imposed, workers on the H-1B with the lowest wage level would have to receive at least the 35th percentile of applicable wages for their job type and location, compared to the 45th percentile in the original version. Workers with the highest wage level should receive the 90th percentile compared to the 95th percentile, the report said.
Meanwhile, a U.S. group on Thursday rejected the Biden administration’s move to reverse some of the Trump administration’s decisions on the H-1B visas, particularly the return of the most sought-after work visa for foreign tech professionals to the lottery system.
The rule, changing the registration requirement for petitioners who wish to file H-1B petitions on the cap subject, requires that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provide higher paid and more skilled foreign workers for H-1B cap -Give priority to subject visas. This ensures that US companies have access to the best pool of foreign workers while discouraging wage suppression and creating unfair competition with American workers.
In its comment submitted to the Department of Homeland Security, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) stated that implementing the Trump administrative rule would reduce abuse of the H-1B program by unscrupulous employers while protecting American workers.
FAIR was founded in 1979 and is the largest immigration reform group in the country. “President (Joe) Biden often portrays himself as a ‘working class’ man who is a tireless defender of the American worker,” said FAIR President Dan Stein.
“However, his administration will postpone an important rule change for at least a year that will prevent unscrupulous employers from using the H-1B program to undercut American wages while ensuring that companies that really need skilled foreign workers have access to have the best and best workers. ” the brightest, “he claimed.
Under current DHS guidelines, USCIS must select registrations using a lottery system at random. If the demand for H-1B visas exceeds the numerical limit set by law, see the comments.
“This random lottery selection process does not value wage or skill levels, and does not ensure that companies actually have access to the best and brightest workers possible. Worse, the lottery creates a scenario in which American workers are being replaced by foreign workers that can be paid significantly less or that have significantly fewer skills, “said Stein.
FAIR urged the DHS to implement these critical reforms immediately.