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DHS Proposes Extensive Updates to H-1B Worker Program

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to make significant changes to the H-1B specialty occupation worker program. The aim is to enhance efficiency, strengthen integrity measures, and provide more benefits for both employers and foreign workers.

The Department of Homeland Security Proposes Updates to H-1B Worker Program To Enhance Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to make significant changes to the H-1B specialty occupation worker program. The aim is to enhance efficiency, strengthen integrity measures, and provide more benefits for both employers and foreign workers.

Key points from the proposed rule change include:

  • Overhauling the H-1B registration Selection Process:
    • The proposed rule change would revamp the H-1B registration selection process to reduce the potential for misuse and fraud.
    • Currently, the lottery system favors individuals with multiple registrations submitted on their behalf. The new proposal should help to level the playing field by entering each unique individual into the selection process only once, regardless of the number of registrations submitted.
    • This should also give H-1B beneficiaries more choices to choose between legitimate job offers.
  • Simplifying Eligibility Requirements:
    • The criteria for specialty occupation positions would be revised to minimize confusion and clarify that a position may accept a range of degrees, if there is a direct relationship between the required degree field(s) and the duties of the position.
  • Enhancing Program Efficiency:
    • The proposed rule codifies that adjudicators should generally defer to prior determinations when no underlying facts have changed during a new filing.
  • Offering More Benefits and Flexibilities:
    • Certain exemptions to the H-1B cap would be expanded for nonprofit entities, governmental research organizations, and beneficiaries not directly employed by a qualifying organization.
    • Additional flexibilities for students on an F-1 visa seeking to change their status to H-1B would be extended.
    • New eligibility requirements for rising entrepreneurs under the H-1B program would be established.
  • Strengthening Integrity Measures:
    • Measures to reduce misuse and fraud include prohibiting related entities from submitting multiple registrations for the same beneficiary.
    • The rule would empower USCIS to conduct site visits, with non-compliance potentially resulting in denial or revocation of the petition.

The proposed changes to the H-1B worker program aim to strike a balance between meeting U.S. employers' needs, ensuring compliance with U.S. worker protections, and preventing fraudulent practices. The public has a 60-day window to provide feedback and comments on the proposed rule. This marks a crucial phase in shaping the future of the H-1B specialty occupation worker program in the United States.

It will be interesting to see how the rule change will affect H-1B filings and the upcoming H-1B registration selection process, so we will have to continue to monitor the situation as it develops. We recommend readers to check back on this site with any further updates on this matter.

Should you have any questions about the H-1B worker program and any specific questions about your own case, we recommend you contact our office to schedule consultations so we can discuss your matter with our experienced attorneys at Pasricha & Patel, LLC.



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