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Immigration News: H-1B Visa Overhaul

by | Oct 6, 2020 | H-1B, Immigration, News

Updated information on this post can be found here: Immigration News: 2 New Rules for H-1B Visas

Today (October 6, 2020), the Trump administration announced changes in line with President Trump’s 2017 “Buy American, Hire American” executive order and the latest in an effort to limit the flow of foreign skilled workers into the U.S.

The administration overhauled H-1B specialty occupation visa program by issuing the following rules:

  • Raising the minimum salary levels for entry-level foreign employees to discourage companies from undercutting American workers;
  • Revising the “employer-employee” relationship;
  • Narrowing the program’s definition of “specialty occupation” by closing the “overbroad definitions that allowed companies to game the system such as clarifying that there must be a “direct relationship” between the job duties and the applicant’s degree;
  • Requiring companies to make “real offers” to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American work; and,
  • Enhancing DHS’ ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during, and after an H-1B petition is approved.

DHS’ H-1B revisions will take effect in 60 days and will only apply to petitions filed after that date.

U.S. Department of Labor’s revisions to the minimum salary requirements will take effect Thursday morning and apply to already-pending requests for a prevailing wage determination. The wage changes will target the H-1B visa, the H-1B1 visa for professionals from Chile and Singapore, and the E-3 visa for professionals from Australia, as well as employed-based green cards.

While legal challenges to the latest announcement are expected, as a result of the changes, the administration says it “expects that about-one third of H-1B visas applications would be rejected under the new set of rules.”

Contact us today to speak with an experienced immigration attorney about your H-1B or other immigration questions.