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Immigration News: 2 New Rules for H-1B Visas

by | Oct 9, 2020 | H-1B, Immigration, News

This is an update to our earlier post from October 6, 2020: Immigration News: H-1B Visa Overhaul

On Thursday, October 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published an interim final rule that is effective immediately: Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States. The results of the new rule are that the minimum wages for PERM and for H-1B’s are increasing significantly. (H-1B1 and E-3 status holders are also affected by this new rule.) There are already organizations preparing to file litigation against this new rule. Since the Trump administration rushed this new rule, there is a chance that the rule will be rejected as having been improperly rushed.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) “is seeking plaintiffs in an action challenging the new interim final rule on prevailing wages for H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 and PERM filings.” If you are interested in participating in pro bono litigation, please fill out this form. “This form seeks to identify employers, employees, and membership organizations that may be interested in serving as named plaintiffs in litigation to be filed on a very expedited basis.”

For those cases that are still pending adjudication, DOL has provided a list of FAQs that discuss how this new rule is being applied.

In addition to the new DOL rule, USCIS has published an interim final rule (Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program) that revises the definition of the term “specialty occupation” and makes other changes to the H-1B regulations. The new rule was published on October 8, 2020 and will be effective 60 days after publication. This new definition of “specialty occupation” will limit the scope of which positions would qualify for H-1B visas. There is a good chance that this will be challenged with litigation, so it is uncertain whether it will actually go into effect or not.

Here is an article from Forbes with a good summary of the new rules: Trump Administration Issues Two New Rules To Restrict H-1B Visas

Based on the uncertainty surrounding these changes, and whether they will be successfully challenged in court, you should considering speaking with a licensed immigration attorney to discuss your particular case.

Contact our office today to schedule a consult with an experienced immigration attorney to help you understand how these new rules affect your immigration plans.