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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Department of Homeland Security posted a final rule on Wednesday that will further favor applicants of the H-1B high-skilled visa who have more than a Bachelor's degree and require them to pre-register electronically with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before submitting their H-1B application.

Why it matters: The new system would make it statistically more likely for someone with a Master's degree from a U.S. university to receive an H-1B over those without their Master's or with one from a foreign university. The pre-registration system would ideally limit the paperwork USCIS has to go though, and will not be required until fiscal year 2020.

The big picture: Other proposals — and more controversial ones — are expected to follow this new rule, including one that would end work permits for the spouses of H-1B visa holders with pending green cards. Another could force employers to pay their H-1B employees more.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.
Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. sanctions Russian officials over Navalny poisoning and detention

Pro-Navalny protesters in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: Omer Messinger/Getty Images

The U.S. will sanction 7 senior Russian officials over the poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the Biden administration confirmed on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The sanctions represent the first penalties the U.S. has imposed on Kremlin-linked officials since President Biden took office and pledged to confront Russian aggression.

Democrats to take up immigration reform next week

Biden in the Oval Office in January. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House will vote on two immigration bills next week, including one to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday on a call with the Democratic caucus.

Why it matters: This is likely the only realistic shot the Biden administration has at this point to pass immigration reform.

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