Executive Summary

The Trump Administration has introduced long-anticipated changes to the H-1B visa program for highly-skilled foreign workers, aimed at tightening eligibility for STEM talent working at major US employers, including by imposing a rigid requirement that any job offered to an H-1B worker require a single specific degree in a subspecialty, and that each

The White House has announced issuance of two new rules, both of which will take effect immediately upon publication in the Federal Register:

  1.  The Department of Homeland Security’s H-1B rule,  “Strengthening the H-1B Non-immigrant Visa Classification Program,” which has been on the DHS regulatory agenda for many years, including its first appearance in Fall 2017

On Friday, August 14, 2020, US Citizenship & Immigration Services completed a second round of lottery selection for FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions. The new selection round was due to the fact that the number of timely filings for H-1B petitions corresponding to  registrations selected under the first round were insufficient to fill the annual quota of 85,000, which includes 65,000 H-1B petitions, and an additional 20,000 petitions allotted to beneficiaries who possess a US advanced degree.  Employers whose H-1B petitions were selected in the first round of the lottery had between April 1 and June 30, 2020, to file petitions.  As a result of the shortage in filings submitted by June 30, USCIS is allocating the unused numbers randomly among the non-selected cases under the first round.
Continue Reading USCIS Issues Second Round H-1B Cap Lottery Selection With A November 16, 2020 Deadline to File

On August 3, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (“EO” or the “Order”) directing the heads of all agencies that enter into contracts to review the impact of contractors and their subcontractors employing H-1B visa holders on the wages and employment opportunities of US workers. Specifically, the EO directs all federal agencies to review

On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed Proclamation 10052, suspending four visa categories of substantial importance to US companies—H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 visas—for the rest of the calendar year and laid the groundwork for regulatory changes to transform when and how employers can sponsor foreign workers to work in the United States. For

President Trump signed a proclamation on June 22, 2020, suspending four visa categories of substantial importance to US companies – H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 visas – for the rest of the calendar year, and laid the groundwork for regulatory changes to transform when and how employers can sponsor foreign workers to work in the United States. The executive order does not affect visa holders already in the United States who do not travel abroad, or those who are abroad but have already obtained a visa or other travel document. Additionally, the order extends the provisions of the President’s April 22, 2020, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” which suspended for 60 days the issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States.

The order also includes a mandate for subsequent rulemaking to address a wide-ranging series of measures including imposition of new recruitment and compliance obligations on employers, development of a revised regulatory scheme for allocation of and eligibility qualification for H-1B visas, and provision of enhanced investigative and exclusionary authority for consular and port officials.

The June 22, 2020, proclamation immediately extends the immigrant visa suspension, while the entry restrictions for H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 visas will take effect on June 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. EDT. Both provisions are effective until December 31, 2020.
Continue Reading Trump Order Suspends Major Visa Categories, Including H-1B and L-1, Through the End of the Calendar Year, With Rulemaking Restrictions to Follow

Updated on April 2, 2020.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received a sufficient number of H-1B registrations through its new electronic registration system needed to reach the annual cap, which includes registrations for both the 65,000 regular cap, as well as the 20,000 allotted US advanced degree exemption (or “master’s cap”).

USCIS states that it will notify employers no later than March 31, 2020 if any of their registrations have been selected in the lottery.  The process remains as reported in our prior Mobile Workforce post, As March 20 Fast Approaches, Where Do Your H-1B Cap Cases Stand?
Continue Reading USCIS Announces H-1B FY 2021 Lottery Selection Complete, With Notification to Selected Petitioners Slated for March 31

A federal judge ruled that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) improperly denied an H-1B petition by attempting to impose a subspecialty requirement that is not warranted by the governing statute, regulation, or legislative history. US Magistrate Judge L. Patrick Auld rejected USCIS’s assertion that the offered position in the case did not qualify as an H-1B “specialty occupation”  because it did not require a degree in a specific subspecialty and could be filled by workers with degrees in more than one discipline, such as different types of engineering degrees.
Continue Reading USCIS Dealt a Blow by Federal Judge Rejection of Its Narrow H-1B Degree Interpretation