H-1B The United States Department of Labor

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

Labor & Employment E-Note - April 2016

In an article published by the Birmingham Business Journal ("BBJ") in the March 25 print edition, Bryance Metheny provides insights into a series of questions related to labor and employment law, including what are some legal...more

New STEM OPT Rule Goes Into Effect May 10: Good news and challenges

Both F-1 students and employers have been following the litigation over the F-1 OPT (optional practical training) program. The government was sued by tech workers in Washington, D.C. regarding a part of this program, the...more

Prepare H-1B Visa Petitions Now to Meet April 2016 Filing Deadline

The H-1B visa filing period for Fiscal Year 2017 begins on April 1, 2016, and filing H-1B visa petitions on that date is the best plan for U.S. employers interested in hiring degreed skilled foreign workers....more

H-1B Quota for October 1: Prepare Labor Condition Applications by March 16

The U.S. government’s H-1B temporary professional worker program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals in “specialty occupation” positions that require a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Under current law, the...more

H-1B Season and a Lesson from Disney

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

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

H-1B Cap Season in Full Swing

Engaging and retaining smart, competitively trained, and diverse talent is critical for all businesses competing in a global economy. For many U.S. businesses across all industries, this means employing foreign workers who...more

April 1 Deadline for Filing H-1B Visa Petitions Approaches

As of April 1, 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017). Upon approval, petitions for FY2017 will allow foreign nationals to work for...more

Powerball for H-1B Visas

Lottery mania has been sweeping the nation as Powerball winnings exceeded $1 billion for the first time. For highly skilled foreign nationals and the employers who desire to employ them, a different kind of lottery mania is...more

Critical Filing Dates for FY 2017 H-1B Cap

Employers who wish to sponsor H-1B workers for Fiscal Year 2017 can begin filing petitions on April 1, 2016 for a start date of October 1, 2016. The H-1B visa is used by businesses who wish to employ foreign nationals to...more

8th Circuit Denies Department Of Labor

Traditionally, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has used the complaint of a single H-1B employee to investigate a company’s entire H-1B program. Following the latest decision from the 8th Circuit, this approach is likely to...more

USCIS to Accept Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY2017 Beginning April 1, 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016 marks the opening of the filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota, commonly known as the...more

H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Will Be Accepted by USCIS Beginning April 1; Employers Urged to Start Process Now as Lottery Is...

April 1 is the first day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept H-1B cap-subject petitions for the 2016 allotment of visas for foreign national professionals in specialty occupations. Cap-subject H-1B...more

Safe Harbor Period for H-1B Petitions Following Job Site Changes Ends January 15

Employers who have moved H-1B workers from one location to another may need to file new H-1B petitions, rather than rely on a prior approval. For moves that already occurred, the employer must file within the “safe harbor...more

The Race to File H-1B Work Visas on April 1, 2016

We are releasing this Alert to remind employers of the fast approaching April 1, 2016 deadline for filing H-1B work visa petitions on behalf of foreign employees who need sponsorship for long-term work authorization in the...more

Legislation Proposed to Reform H-1B and L-1 Visa Programs

In November, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Assistant Democratic Leader, introduced a new bipartisan legislation seeking to reform and reduce fraud...more

Obama Administration Announces $100 million in TechHire Grants to Support IT, Cybersecurity, Broadband Sector Training

On November 17, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the White House issued a funding announcement releasing $100 million in grants as a part of the Obama Administration’s TechHire Initiative, which specifically calls out...more

DOL Misclassification Guidance on Independent Contractors Could Affect Certain Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance to clarify when workers can be classified as independent contractors or employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Administrator’s Interpretation...more

When Transferring Employees to the U.S., Foreign Employers Should Consider Impact if Proposed Changes to Overtime Exemption Are...

On July 6, 2015, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed a revision to the “white collar” overtime exemption rule. As explained by Littler when it testified before the House Subcommittee, “the proposed white collar...more

A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers

Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were...more

USCIS Issues New Procedures for Determining Time for Filing Green Card Application

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promulgated new procedures for determining the visa availability date for individuals waiting to file employment- and family-based applications for...more

August 2015 Immigration Alert

I. USCIS Issues Guidance on When an Amended H-1B Petition Is Required After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC - On July 21, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a policy memorandum...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

USCIS Issues Final Guidance on When to File an Amended or New H-1B Petition After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC – But Cautions...

On July 21, 2015, USCIS issued Final Guidance for agency adjudicators regarding applying the precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC. As we previously reported, Matter of Simeio radically reinterpreted the...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

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