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Immigration Law

H-1B Interim Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 196 / Thursday, October 8, 2020

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the Department), is amending certain DHS regulations governing the H–1B nonimmigrant visa program. Specifically, DHS is: Revising the regulatory definition of and standards for a ‘‘specialty occupation’’ to better align with the statutory definition of the term; adding definitions for ‘‘worksite’’ and ‘‘third-party worksite’’; revising the definition of ‘‘United States employer’’; clarifying how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will determine whether there is an ‘‘employer-employee relationship’’ between the petitioner and the beneficiary; requiring corroborating evidence of work in a specialty occupation; limiting the validity period for third-party placement petitions to a maximum of 1 year; providing a written explanation when the petition is approved with an earlier validity period end date than requested; amending the general itinerary provision to clarify it does not apply to H–1B petitions; and codifying USCIS’ H–1B site visit authority, including the potential consequences of refusing a site visit. The primary purpose of these changes is to better ensure that each H–1B nonimmigrant worker (H–1B worker) will be working for a qualified employer in a job that meets the statutory definition of a ‘‘specialty occupation.’’ These changes are urgently necessary to strengthen the integrity of the H–1B program during the economic crisis caused by the COVID–19 public health emergency to more effectively ensure that the employment of H–1B workers will not have an adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. In addition, in strengthening the integrity of the H–1B program, these changes will aid the program in functioning more effectively and efficiently. DATES: This interim final rule is effective on December 7, 2020. Written comments must be submitted on this interim final rule on or before December 7, 2020. Comments on the collection of information (see Paperwork Reduction Act section) must be received on or before November 9, 2020. Comments on both the interim final rule and the collection of information received on or before November 9, 2020 will be considered by DHS and USCIS. Only comments on the interim final rule received between November 9, 2020 and December 7, 2020 will be considered by DHS and USCIS. Note: Comments received after November 9, 2020 only on the information collection will not be considered by DHS and USCIS."