NAICU Washington Update

Fast Track Regulations on H-1B Visas to be Introduced

October 09, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing an interim final rule that will affect the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program.  The H-1B program allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.  The H-1B program is important to companies across the country that hire specialists in technology, science, and similar fields.  The program is also important for colleges and universities as many campuses have faculty who are working in the U.S. on H-1B visas.
The rule would affect the current program in two significant ways.  First, it would narrow the definition of a “specialty occupation.”  Second, it would increase the required wage rates employers would have to pay to hire foreign skilled workers. DHS feels these changes will strengthen the H-1B program, protect more jobs for U.S. workers, and better guarantee that visas are approved for clearly qualified individuals.  Major U.S. employers disagree, and think these changes will reduce the pool of skilled workers and raise costs on companies.
While there is not the traditional comment process for a proposed rule, comments will still be accepted until November 8.  Since this is an interim final rule, it will go into effect 60 days after publication.  NAICU is reviewing the details of the proposals in the interim final rule and will be submitting any specific concerns to DHS.

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