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The Impact of the 2024 U.S. H-1B Visa New Policy on HR


The 2024 changes to the United States H-1B visa policy,particularly the introduction of a pilot program for in-country H-1B visa renewal, marks a new phase of more efficient and convenient U.S. immigration policies. These changes simplify the renewal process, reducing disruptions in work and life, and mean that HR professionals need to promptly update their knowledge and strategies to adapt.

This article will explore these policy updates in detail, providing HR professionals with key information and strategies to optimize the recruitment and management of international talent. Effectively leveraging these new opportunities, as policies evolve, will have a profound impact on a company’s competitiveness in the global talent market.

Detailed Explanation of H-1B Visa Reform

“One Person, One Lottery” Scheme: This core reform aims to increase the fairness of applications. The new rules are intended to reduce the inequality created by companies submitting numerous applications to increase their chances of selection. This means that HR professionals must ensure that each candidate has an equal opportunity of being selected.
Extension of the Cap-Gap for F-1 Students: This change is particularly beneficial for students currently on Optional Practical Training (OPT). It allows them to work more stably while applying for the H-1B visa, reducing the uncertainty of status transition. HR professionals can enjoy a more coherent hiring process for these candidates.

The Importance of In-Country H-1B Visa Renewal

From early 2024, this pilot program allows H-1B visa holders in the U.S. to renew locally without having to return to their home country. This means that foreign employees do not have to leave the U.S. when their visas expire, reducing the risk of project interruptions.
H-1B Visa Quotas and Lottery System

Quota Maintenance: The total quota remains at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 for those with master’s degrees or higher. HR professionals should consider candidates’ educational backgrounds to make full use of these quotas.
Electronic Lottery System: The advantage of this system is its efficiency and low cost. HR professionals need to work closely with candidates and the company’s legal team to ensure registration is completed during the lottery window.

Changes to the H-4 Visa and Their Impact

While H-4 visas (for spouses of H-1B holders) do not yet enjoy the same renewal conveniences, other optimizations, such as bundled processing of H-4 and H-1B applications, provide companies with more flexibility.

HR Strategy Recommendations for Responding to Policy Changes

1、Continuously monitor policy developments: Regularly check updates from the U.S. immigration services and related legal websites for the latest visa policies and regulations.

2、Strengthen collaboration with immigration lawyers: Work with professional immigration lawyers to ensure your recruitment process complies with the latest legal provisions.

3、Plan talent recruitment strategies in advance: Adjust your talent recruitment plans according to policy changes.

4、Optimize candidate screening processes: Carefully review candidates’ professional backgrounds and qualifications to ensure they meet the H-1B visa requirements. Also, pay attention to applicants’ OPT status for better recruitment planning.

5、Train the HR team: Organize internal training to familiarize the HR team with the latest immigration policies and H-1B visa processes.

6、Monitor employees’ visa status and renewal issues: Closely monitor the visa expiration and renewal situations of foreign employees to ensure business continuity.

7、Enhance communication with candidates: Clearly explain the H-1B application process and potential risks to candidates.

The 2024 H-1B visa policy changes bring new challenges and opportunities for corporate HR. By continuously monitoring policy developments, strengthening collaboration with immigration lawyers, planning talent recruitment strategies in advance, optimizing candidate screening processes, training the HR team, monitoring employees’ visa status and renewals, and enhancing communication with candidates, you can manage and utilize international talent resources more effectively. As policies continue to evolve, adapting flexibly and implementing effective strategies will be key to successfully recruiting and maintaining international talent.

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