The H-1B nonimmigrant visa program allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty or its equivalent. The current rules for the total 85,000 selection of H-1B is through lottery, which is known to be misused and a fraudulent process.
Latest-proposed rules from DHS and USCIS
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on October 20, 2023. This proposal is said to provide more streamlined eligibility requirements, efficiency, more significant benefits, flexibility, and integrity. The 60-day public comment period starts following the publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register, which will end on December 22, 2023. Until now, DHS has not released further details about the public comment.
The chart below compares the difference between the current and proposed rules for the H-1B program:
The more registrations submitted on behalf of an individual, the higher chance that individual will be selected in the lottery.
criteria for specialty occupation positions
Specialty occupation is statutorily defined as requiring:
Clarifying that a position may allow a range of degrees, although there must be a direct relationship between the required degree field(s) and the duties of the position.
Clarifying that adjudicators generally should defer to a prior determination when no underlying facts have changed at time of a new filing
Generally speaking, employment offers at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, or nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations cannot be counted against the annual H-1B cap.
Site Visits Authorization
Codify USCIS’ authority to conduct site visits and clarify that refusal to comply with site visits may result in denial or revocation of the petition
DHS Press Release: DHS Issues Proposed Rule to Modernize the H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker Program,
https://www.dhs.gov/news/2023/10/20/dhs-issues-proposed-rule-modernize-h-1b-specialty-occupation-worker-program (Last review on December 19, 2023)