H-1B Non-Immigrant Visas

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

Premium Processing to be Temporarily Suspended for H-1B Petitions

As of April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. Therefore petitioners will not have the option to request 15-day, premium processing on H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3,...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Suspends Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions Commencing Monday, April 3, 2017

On March, 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it was suspending premium processing for all H-1B petitions commencing April 3, 2017. USCIS advised that premium processing may be suspended...more

Immigration-Related FAQs In Response to President Trump’s Recent Executive Orders, as of February 2, 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: This Management Alert addresses Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from employers and foreign nationals regarding President Trump’s recent Executive Order on immigration....more

Legal Alert - IMMIGRATION UPDATE: Executive Order’s Travel Ban Creates Chaos for Foreign Workers and Their Employers

Late on Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order immediately suspending the ability of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to enter the United Sates for a period of 90...more

Expansive New Rule for Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

Effective yesterday, January 17, 2017, a new USCIS rule seeks to improve multiple employment-based temporary nonimmigrant and immigrant visa (“green card”) programs. The new regulations are designed to help U.S. employers...more

New USCIS Rule Amending Several Employment-Based and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs Will Take Effect on January 17, 2017

Beginning on January 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will implement a new rule that amends certain regulations relating to employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The rule's goal...more

Time to Prepare H-1B Petitions

April 1, 2017 will be here before you know it. That’s the date when the annual H1-B quota becomes available and employers nationwide compete for the coveted 3-year work authorizations which will be effective October 1, 2017....more

New USCIS Regulations To Retain High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published new regulations effective January 17, 2017 which modernize and improve aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs. The...more

DHS Finalizes Rules on Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas

In November, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rules on the employment-based, non-immigrant and immigrant visa programs available in the United States. The changes were intended to make it easier for...more

USCIS Publishes Final Rule For Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs and to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who...more

USCIS Publishes Final Rule For Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

On Friday, November 18, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the press release below. USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based...more

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Issues Final Rule on Immigrant Visa Petition Retention and Program Improvements Affecting...

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule in the Federal Register which addresses the retention and portability of high-skilled foreign workers. The new regulations, which take...more

USCIS Publishes Long-Awaited High-Skilled Immigration Rule

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published its long-awaited “High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” regulation today, Nov. 18, 2016. This regulation was proposed on Dec. 31, 2015. It will become...more

Immigration Policy and President Trump – Deciphering and Reconfiguring our Immigration System

During his campaign, President-elect Trump had promised to place the issue of immigration at the top of his agenda once sworn in as president in January 2017. Some programs may be immediately repealed and others will require...more

U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver Is Accepting Initial H-1B Visa Applications From Third Country Nationals

Recently, the U.S. Consulate General in Vancouver, Canada confirmed to the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Department of State Liaison Committee that it will accept nonimmigrant visa applications by third country...more

Travel Alert: Extensive Visa Wait Times at U.S. Consular Posts in India

Seyfarth Synopsis: Department of State reports extensive wait times for visa appointments at consular posts in India. Foreign nationals planning to apply for a visa stamp in India this summer should expect wait times...more

Immigration Laws Stifle US Business

US immigration laws have not been created with the growing global economy’s need for foreign talent in mind, and should be reformed to promote hiring the best minds for the US economy. With globalization of the modern...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

Taking the Temperature of Immigration Policy for Nurses

As we enter the throes of cold and flu season, thoughts naturally turn to matters of health and so it seems fitting that HRLegalist takes a look at visa options for foreign RNs, which has traditionally been more difficult...more

DOL Proposes New Rule for Certain Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Programs Affecting Employment

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a proposed rule to amend employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The new rule is intended to benefit both U.S. employers and foreign national...more

H-1B Cap Filing Season Begins on April 1, 2016

On Friday April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap. It is critical that employers begin preparation as soon as possible for...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

H-1B Cap Season is Approaching: Are you Prepared?

April 1, 2016 is the filing date for all H-1B visa petitions that are subject to the “Cap.” Many HR staff – especially if they are new in the role – are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of the H-1B visa. This article...more

Holiday Planning Should Include H-1B Cap Planning

While it may seem early, the holiday season is a good time for employers to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins October 1, 2016. Demand for the H-1B has steadily increased so that last year,...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

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