In a new effort to fight against those who abuse the H-1B visa program, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency has announced a new policy. H-1B visas exist to allow individuals in specialty occupations, those working on Department of Defense Cooperative Research and development projects, and individuals who work as distinguished fashion models to do work in the United States. The H-1B visa allows an individual to live and work in the United States for up to three years, and in some cases, may be extended for an additional three years. There are 65,000 H-1B visas issued each fiscal year and an additional 20,000 issued to those who have a masters degree or higher. Family members of H-1B visa holders may also petition to come to the United States as well.

The policy memorandum that was released last week will require employers who wish to hire those on H-1B visas to provide additional information to the USCIS showing why they need to hire foreign workers. Critics of the policy feel as though additional enforcement and paperwork may discourage employers and individuals from petitioning for an H-1B visa. The new guidance, which went into effect on February 22, 2018, will require petitioners at third-party workplaces to provide evidence that the worker will be employed in a specialty occupation and that the employer will maintain the relationship during the requested time period.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.