H-1B United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

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

USCIS Issues Major New Immigration Regulations for Highly Skilled Workers

On November 18, 2016, USCIS issued an extensive set of revisions to immigration regulations affecting highly skilled workers. The new rules, which go into effect on January 17, 2017, clarify longstanding agency practices and...more

It’s Time to Prepare H-1B Visa Petitions for Fiscal Year 2018

H-1B visas have long been the U.S. employment visa of choice due to their flexibility for professionals to work in “specialty occupations”. Lately, however, for those employers and prospective employees who are subject to the...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

2016/2017 Labor & Employment Observer

Activist NLRB Created More Problems For All Employers in 2016 - What Happens Under President Trump? During 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) maintained its generally pro-union, anti-employer...more

Plan Now for FY 2018 Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Petitions

Now that we have rung in 2017, it is a good time to start planning for Fiscal Year 2018 cap-subject H-1B petitions. Even though Fiscal Year 2018 starts October 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will...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

Two International Entrepreneurs Start under New York’s International Innovators Visa Program

Understanding the scarcity of H-1B visas, early in 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), launched the International Innovators...more

Time to Plan for Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap Season

H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2018 cap (FY 2018) must be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the first five days of April 2017. As April 1 falls on a Saturday in 2017, employers...more

H-1B Cap Season - It's Time to Prepare for April 2017

On April 3, 2017, the filing period will begin for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (H-1B cap) for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017. We strongly encourage employers to begin determining...more

Employment Law 2016 Review

Preparing for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania - Marijuana legalization reached Pennsylvania in 2016, bringing with it a host of new questions employers are going to have to answer. Signed into law on April 17, the...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

High-Skilled Foreign Workers: Summary of Rule Changes Effective January 17, 2017

Starting January 17, 2017, the long-awaited regulations for high-skilled workers incorporating provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21) and the American Competitiveness and...more

H-1B Cap Planning Starts Now

Although we are still officially in the year 2016, it is a good time for employers to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins October 1, 2017. Demand for the H-1B has steadily increased over the...more

New High-Skilled Worker Final Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a final rule - “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” - to improve employment-based,...more

H-1B Filing Season Is Here - December 2016

Now is the time for employers to assess their FY2018 H-1B needs and start preparing their petitions for submission on April 3....more

Will the New Executive Administration Impact the H-1B Lottery?

Human Resources professionals with U.S. companies that are reliant upon skilled foreign workers often spend the last few months of the calendar year and the beginning of the new calendar year identifying individuals who will...more

Presidential Pulse: 10 Key Ways the Trump Administration May Impact The Way You Do Business in 2017

Today marks just over a month since Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States. As each cabinet appointment is announced, we get more clues to help us predict which direction the Trump...more

Expansive Final Rule Affecting Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs Published – good news for H-1B visa...

On November 18, 2016, US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule to “improve aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs.” This final rule also “amended regulations to...more

CIS Announces New Rule Impacting Employment-based Nonimmigrants and Immigrants

USCIS has published a final rule focused on the retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 immigrant workers and the improvement of existing temporary visa programs for high-skilled nonimmigrant workers. The new rule takes effect on...more

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Publishes Final Rule Improving Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa...

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers and foreign nationals should take note of critical changes to DHS’ regulations impacting employment-based immigration for highly skilled workers. On January 17, 2017, the Department of...more

A Closer Look at the USCIS Final Rule on High-Skilled Immigration

On November 18, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule that significantly affects the ability of employers to employ and retain foreign national workers in the United States (Final Rule)....more

New Regulations Clarify Which Employers Are Exempt From Yearly H-1B Quota

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued its long-awaited rule seeking to improve certain aspects of the employment-based immigration system. The new rule, which becomes effective on January...more

USCIS Increases Filing Fees Effective December 23, 2016

For the first time since November 2010, the filing fees for many of the petitions and applications filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase, effective December 23, 2016. All applications...more

New Employment-Based Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Regulation

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its Final Rule amending regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The new rule will take effect on January...more

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