H-1B Department of Homeland Security

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly... more +
The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent." Examples of specialty occupations include chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and architecture, to name a few. Individuals may not apply for H-1B visas; they are distributed only through the approval of employer petitions. In order to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition resulting from the program, the rules require that employers pay nonimmigrant workers equivalent wages to similarly-situated U.S. workers or the industry's prevailing wage. H-1B visas are subject to a yearly cap which is currently set at 85,000.   less -
News & Analysis as of

Federal Court Vacates STEM Extension Program

Current STEM OPT holders not affected until February 2016. A federal judge's ruling earlier this month invalidated the 17-month extension of optional practical training (OPT) for international students in the science,...more

Employment Law - August 2015 #2

The Customer Isn't Always Right—Especially When He Harasses Employees: Why it matters - Providing an important reminder about the potential for liability from customers, a new lawsuit was filed against a supermarket...more

Immigration Alert: Decision Overturning 17-month OPT/STEM Extensions is stayed as USCIS scrambles to cure deficiencies

On August 12, 2015, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dealt a blow to employers by vacating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 interim rule expanding the...more

Work Program for Foreign Students: Changes are in the Offing After a Federal Judge Curtails the Program

On August 12, 2015, a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improperly enacted a 2008 rule extending “Optional Practical Training” (OPT) for eligible foreign students in STEM...more

Federal Court Ruling Puts STEM OPT Extension in Jeopardy

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for...more

Court Finds STEM OPT Extension Rule to Be Deficient: Vacatur Stayed Temporarily to Allow DHS to Cure

On August 12, 2015, in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015), Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia...more

District Court Vacates F-1 STEM OPT Rule and Provides DHS With Six Months to Cure Defect

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia vacated the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 rule allowing F-1 students in the U.S. with college-level degrees in...more

White House Releases Report on Improving and Modernizing the Immigration System to Meet 21st Century Needs

Earlier this month, the White House released a review of the United States’ immigration policies in a report entitled, “Modernizing & Streamlining our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century.” The Report highlights key...more

Recent changes to employing foreign workers

This month, we take a survey of recent changes affecting employers’ ability to attract and retain foreign workers. L-1B visa denials According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) data released under a...more

USCIS to Accept Employment Authorization Applications from Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Beginning May 26, 2015, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 Dependent Spouses. The USCIS will reject any applications received...more

Lawsuit Seeks to Block New DHS Rule Granting EADs to Certain H-4 Spouses

As previously reported, beginning on May 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin the implementation of a new rule allowing for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to be issued to certain H-4...more

Work Authorization Extended to Certain H-4 Visa Holders

Late last year, I wrote on the controversial executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November. As I noted then, those executive actions include several initiatives that will make it easier for...more

What H-4 Visa Holders Need to Know about Employment Authorization

Under new rules announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the end of February, beginning May 26, 2015, H-4 visa holders who are the dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible for employment...more

Spouses of H-1B Workers Can Now Seek Employment

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that, beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 visa holders will be eligible for employment authorization. Currently, H-4 visa holders – dependent spouses and children...more

New Immigration Regulations Authorize Employment for Certain H-4 Spouses

Starting May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants will be permitted to apply for work authorization in the United States. Those permitted to work include individuals in H-4 status whose H-1B spouses...more

USCIS Acts to Eliminate Employment Disruption for Professional Workers

Employers who seek to reduce disincentives that currently encourage H-1B non-immigrant employees to abandon adjustment to lawful permanent residence status will benefit from a new employment authorization rule announced on...more

New DHS Rule Extends Eligibility for Work Authorization to H-4 Dependent Spouses of Certain H-1B Workers Starting May 26, 2015

In a historic move, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") will allow, for the first time, H-4 spouses of H-1B workers who are pursuing permanent residence ("green cards") to apply for work...more

Immigration Update: A Small Step in the Right Direction

Until recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not allow the dependent spouses of H-1B (specialty occupation) visa holders to engage in any form of employment while living in the U.S. H-4 visa...more

FAQs on H-4 Employment Authorization Final Rule From DHS

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule confirming that certain H-4 spouses will be eligible to apply for U.S. work authorization. The following is an outline of the new...more

Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants May Apply for Employment Authorization

President Obama’s immigration executive order provides an opportunity for certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants to obtain employment authorization. Until now, H-4 nonimmigrants were not permitted to work in the...more

Eligibility extended for certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants

On February 24, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director León Rodríguez announced that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment...more

H-4 Visa Holders Soon To Be Able To Work

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will extend eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment based lawful permanent...more

Employment Authorization For Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent...more

Continued Rollout of Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

Today, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that starting May 26, 2015 it will be accepting applications for employment authorization (EAD) for H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants...more

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