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

Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration: An Update to Two Key Initiatives Designed to Enhance the Employment of Highly Skilled...

In November 2014, President Obama issued a number of executive actions designed to make significant changes to the U.S. immigration system. The most controversial initiatives were the deferred action policies aimed at...more

High-Skilled Foreign Workers: New Rules From USCIS on H-1B Work Visas, AC21, I-140 Petitions and EADs

The long-awaited proposed rule — “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” (aka I-140/AC21/EAD Proposed Rule) — was published in the Federal...more

Update on STEM OPT Extension Rule

A February 12, 2016, court-imposed deadline to determine the fate of certain student work permits is fast approaching. At this point, it is unclear whether the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be able to meet...more

DHS Proposes New Rule for Increased Job Flexibility: Part 2

This is part 2 of our analysis of the proposed rule published by DHS on December 30, 2015, addressing and extending employment flexibility for certain classes of nonimmigrants and prospective immigrants. Proposed Rule...more

DHS Proposes New Rule for Increased Job Flexibility: Part 1

On December 31st, the Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed rule addressing and extending employment flexibility for certain classes of nonimmigrants and prospective immigrants. The new rule proposes to amend...more

Immigration Law Updates - January 5, 2016

Following are recent and/or anticipated changes to United States immigration laws, which may impact our clients: Proposed Changes to the Visa Waiver Program Following Terror Concerns - In the aftermath of the Paris...more

DHS Issues Proposed Rule for Changes to Employment of High-Skilled Foreign Workers

On December 30, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning employment-based visa programs for high-skilled workers. The notice is published in the December...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rules to Extend the Program Have Been Proposed

On October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published eagerly anticipated proposed STEM OPT Extension rules that, if adopted would allow U.S. employers greater flexibility for employing foreign nationals...more

You Down with OPT? DHS Proposes Longer Post-Graduate Work Authorization for STEM Graduates, with a Catch

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for students with higher education degrees...more

DHS Proposes New Rule for STEM OPT Extension

New rule would extend STEM optional practical training to 24 months. On October 19, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

Department of Homeland Security Regulation Benefitting STEM Employers Thrown into Question

A federal district judge recently issued a 37-page decision vacating a 2008 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation that has helped thousands of U.S. companies hire and retain foreign students holding U.S. degrees in...more

DHS Sends New STEM OPT Rule to OMB For Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent its proposed regulation on the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week. A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is...more

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

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