The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday submitted a proposal to overhaul the H-1B visa program to the White House for final review.

What Happened?

DHS has sent a new regulation that would amend eligibility requirements for the H-1B visa to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review. This is typically the last step before publication of a final rule. The proposal has been on President Trump's regulatory agenda since 2017.

What does the new regulation change?

The new H-1B visa regulation proposes to revise the definition of a specialty occupation within the program, as well as the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship in an effort to protect U.S. workers and wages.

In addition, the regulation proposes to provide additional requirements for employers of H-1B nonimmigrants to ensure these employees are being paid appropriately.

What happens next?

Following OMB review, the new regulation is expected to be published as an "interim final rule," which will put it into effect immediately without a public comment period or a 30-day delayed effective date.

The new rule is likely to be challenged in the court system.

Earlier this year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) settled a lawsuit after a district court ruled that its policies scrutinizing employer-employee relationships were unlawful. Another attempt by the agency to impose new degree requirements for specialty occupations was also struck down in court this year.

How are Envoy and GIA responding?

Envoy and Global Immigration Associates are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

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