Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. US Immigration Policy Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN

H-1b Visa Changes Imminent

It is being widely reported that wide-sweeping changes to the H-1b visa regulations have now been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review. It is being reported that the new regulations will be released as an interim final rule with immediate effect. There will be no comment period. The timing could be up to 90 days under normal circumstances but, is being fast tracked by the White House and they are expected to be released by the end of Sept. The exact language has not been released but, several sources are reporting that the new regulations will restrict the placement of an H-1b worker at a 3rd party site unless the 3rd party jointly files the LCA and agrees to comply with all of the LCA requirements/obligations thus creating a co-employment situation. We do not expect any 3rd party worksite to be willing to agree to such a condition. This rule would effectively end the use of H-1b’s by staffing cos. Other industries are not exempt from the proposed changes as additional restrictions have been promised on minimum salary levels and a change to the definition of specialty occupation. Again, the exact language has not been released so details on these changes are not available. Litigation is expected shortly after the rules are released. Blatantly ignoring the Administrative Procedures Act and the Notice and Comment period may indicate that the timing of this rule is not designed to effectuate a long-lasting change but, rather campaign fodder. The Trump Administration has long sought to significantly reduce legal immigration and to specifically restrict the use of the H-1b and L work visas. If you are a U.S. employer and you believe the use of H-1b visas provides you access to much needed talent, we would encourage you to reach out to your various trade associations and encourage them to fight against these proposed rules. We will provide updates as they become available.

Update from NAFSA

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