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Updates on Executive Order of June 22 and DHS Rule on H-1B Visa Lottery

Office of Global Learning

Dear international community,

Many of you will be watching events unfold in the U.S. Capitol. We have been shocked and horrified by the actions of the past few days. This country’s democratic institutions, process, and character have suffered greatly. However, we are heartened by messages of support and concern from international colleagues, peers, and alumni. We are confident that we will overcome this, just as we will overcome the global pandemic's challenges.

We have news to share on the immigration front, and it is not entirely good news, but it is also not final, and we expect there to be changes with the incoming Biden administration. 

First, the Presidential Executive Order of June 22, 2020 (Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak), set to expire on December 31, 2020, has been extended to March 31, 2021. This order suspends new visas and entry for H-1B temporary workers, certain J-1 exchange visitors, and their H-4 or J-2 family members. Refer to the above link for details on to whom the order applies. The incoming Biden administration can suspend this order, but at the time of this writing, we do not definitively know if or when this might happen.

Second, today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule titled, Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitioners. This rule eliminates the random lottery for H-1B cap-subject petitions and replaces it with a process that makes selections by wage level within the profession (DHS Publishes Final Rule To End H-1B Visa Lottery). Higher wage levels will be selected first. Please note, this rule does not impact cap-exempt employers (higher education, government, and non-profit H-1Bs). The rule is supposed to take effect on March 9, 2021, but it is likely to be suspended for 60 days by the Biden administration. If suspended, it would not affect cap-subject new H-1B petitions that can be filed beginning April 1. If it does ultimately take effect, there will likely be legal challenges to the rule.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns.

Our very best wishes to all of you in this challenging time.

Laura Taylor, Senior Associate Director, Office of Global Learning
Brandon Lanners, Executive Director, Office of Global Learning
Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs