DHS Issues Proposed Rule to Modernize the H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to change its H-1B regulations in order to modernize and improve the efficiency of the H-1B program by streamlining eligibility requirements, improving program efficiency, providing greater benefits and flexibilities for employers and workers, and strengthening integrity measures.  

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa program allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, defined by statute as occupations that require highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty, or its equivalent.  

Since the electronic registration process for H-1B was implemented by the USCIS in FY2021, there has been an increase in the number of beneficiaries with multiple registrations submitted on their behalf. Current regulations do not impose a limit on the number of registrations that can be submitted on behalf of a single individual by different entities; so, the more registrations that are submitted on behalf of an individual, the higher chance that individual will be selected in the lottery. Under the new proposed rule, however, each unique individual who has a registration submitted on their behalf would be entered into the selection process once, regardless of the number of registrations submitted on their behalf. This would improve the chances that a legitimate registration would be selected by significantly reducing or eliminating the advantage of submitting multiple registrations for the same beneficiary solely to increase the chances of selection. 

The proposed rule would also aim to provide flexibilities, such as automatically extending the duration of F-1 status, and some employment authorizations granted under certain rules, until April 1 of the relevant fiscal year, rather than October 1 of the same fiscal year, to avoid disruptions in lawful status and employment authorization for F-1 students changing their status to H-1B. 

At Margaret W. Wong and Associates, we maintain a department of attorneys who concentrate much of their practice on assisting companies/corporations with their immigration needs. We bring to each client the experience and knowledge gained from tens of thousands of immigration cases. 

If you are ready to explore your immigration options or are looking into visas on behalf of an employee, call our offices at 844-324-1896. 

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