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Department of Homeland Security Changes H-1B Program

Books and HammerOn October 6, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced that it would invoke significant changes to the H-1B program. This decision was made in order to “protect U.S. workers” and restore “integrity to the H-1B program.” This program exists to aid foreign workers who are looking to receive employment in the country. The changes would better guarantee that these petitions are approved only for qualified beneficiaries and petitioners. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New York immigration attorney for assistance.

Why Is the H-1B Program Being Modified?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the H-1B visa program has allowed more than a half million H-1B nonimmigrants to displace United States workers. As a result, this led to reduced wages in a number of U.S. labor market industries and the stagnation of wages in some occupations. It is because of this that they began the move to modify the program.

Speaking on the matter, Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said, “We have entered an era in which economic security is an integral part of homeland security. Put simply, economic security is homeland security. In response, we must do everything we can within the bounds of the law to make sure the American worker is put first … The Department of Homeland Security is honored to take this important step toward putting Americans first and to continue to implement President Trump’s agenda to keep our economy secure.”

The new rule will combat the use of H-1B workers to serve as a low-cost replacement for qualified American workers. The rule will do the following:

  • Narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system
  • Require companies to make “real” offers to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American worker
  • Enhance DHS’ ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during, and after an H-1B petition is approved

The new law is set to take effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. If you have any additional questions, give us a call today.

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Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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