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

Immigration Penalties Adjusted for Inflation Increases to Take Effect August 1

On June 30 and July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) each published separate interim final rules in the Federal Register to...more

Increased Fines for I-9 and Other Immigration Violations Effective August 1, 2016

The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and Labor (DOL) announced increased civil fines against employers who commit immigration-related offenses, such as Form I-9 and E-Verify violations, H-1B visa...more

Lawsuit Against DHS and USCIS Seeks Transparency in H-1B Lottery Process

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The...more

Government Filing Fee Changes May Be Coming Soon

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that seeks to increase filing and processing fees for certain applications. The proposed rule will be open to comment from the public until...more

U.S. Government Expands Job Opportunities for Foreign STEM Students

As HR Legalist has reported, the H-1B Cap has been met for FY2017. USCIS received over 236,000 petitions. From among this number were selected the congressionally mandated limit of 65,000 regular cap H-1B petitions, and an...more

Pilot Program May Soon Help Streamline Employment-based Visa Process

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a pilot program called “Known Employer” to streamline the process by which employers who sponsor foreign national workers send documents and...more

DHS Releases Published F-1 Visa STEM OPT Regulation

On March 11, 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final regulation for F-1 nonimmigrant students on optional practical training (OPT) with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

New STEM OPT Rules: More than Just an Extra Seven Months of Work Authorization

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule on enhancements to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering...more

DHS Issues STEM OPT Final Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") recently issued its long-awaited F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (“OPT”) for certain students with degrees in science, technology,...more

Final STEM OPT Rule Released - Effective May 10, 2016

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule that allows foreign graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (“STEM”) programs from U.S. universities an additional 24 months of F-1 Optional...more

Immigration Bulletin – USCIS Announces New STEM OPT Regulations

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new F-1 student visa regulations that increase the amount of Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization available to foreign students with...more

DHS Extends OPT Period to Improve Opportunities for F-1 Visa STEM Students

The Department of Homeland Security published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 11, 2016 that will allow certain international students to stay and work in the United States on their student visas as long as three...more

New DHS Rule Creates Extended Work Authorization for STEM Graduates - Side Benefit is a Potential H-1B Workaround

On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security issued a long-anticipated final rule allowing certain foreign students with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees earned in the U.S. to extend their...more

STEM OPT Period Extended to Three Years

Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule, effective May 10, 2016, allowing foreign students with science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees to extend their optional practical training or "OPT"...more

Breaking News: DHS Publishes New STEM OPT Rule with effective date of May 10, 2016

On March 10, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security published the new STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) final rule in the Federal Register. The effective date of this new final rule is May 10, 2016, the date that...more

Last Call for New Cap H-1Bs and International Student STEM Optional Practical Training Changes

April 1 is the filing date for new H-1B cap subject applications. There is a 7-day process that must be completed through Department of Labor prior to filing. If you have any potential H-1B petitions (foreign students on...more

DHS Announces Final Rule on STEM OPT Employment Authorization

The final rule adds employer obligations to the STEM OPT program. The US Department of Homeland Security has released an advance version of its long-anticipated final rule that expands employment authorization for...more

The Department of Homeland Security Previews Final Rule Governing STEM OPT

Yesterday, March 9, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security previewed the final rule governing STEM OPT, to be released on Friday. This rule is effective May 10, 2016, except the addition of 8 CFR 214.16, which is effective...more

DHS Tests Known Employer Program for Certain Immigration Petitions

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a pilot program intended to streamline the employment-based immigration process in certain visa categories. The program will modify the process U.S....more

DHS Launches Trial Program to Streamline Employment Visa Applications

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its launch of the Known Employer Program, under which certain employers are eligible to use an online platform to submit information that can be used...more

USCIS Launches Known Employer Pilot for Preselected Employers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created the Known Employer pilot, which is only limited to nine preselected employers and is not available to other employers yet. The pilot seeks to assess a way to...more

Proposed Changes to Employment-based Immigration Regulations

At the end of last year, the Department of Homeland Security proposed amendments (published 12/31/2015) to its regulations pertaining to employment-based immigrant (permanent) and nonimmigrant (temporary) visa programs, and...more

A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: H-4 EAD Reforms (Part 4/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

Immigration Update: H-1B Cap Season and a Cautionary Fairy Tale; Changing ESTA/VWP Questions Answered; Improvements to E-3, H-1B1,...

H-1B Cap season is approaching, and, with a similar flurry to file petitions for eligible specialized knowledge workers expected for April 1 as we experienced in 2015, H-1B employers should carefully consider the obligations...more

Department of Homeland Security Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Retention and Portability of High-Skilled Workers

On December 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued proposed regulations to address the retention and portability of high-skilled foreign workers. The new regulations were promulgated in furtherance of...more

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