Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to Make Key Changes to H-1B and F-1 Visa Regulations

September 26, 2023
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  DHS is taking action to improve the regulations surrounding H-1B specialty occupation workers and F-1 students. With the proposed rule currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), we can expect to see more details published by December 2023. Here are the key changes being considered:
  1. Clearer Guidance on Employer-Employee Relationships: This revision aims to provide better clarity when an H-1B worker is placed at a third-party worksite.
  2. Enhanced Site Visit Requirements: New guidelines and requirements for USCIS site visits will help define procedures and clarify statutory authority.
  3. Fairer H-1B Cap Registration Process: Changes may be implemented to ensure equal treatment for all applicants in the H-1B lottery selection process.
  4. Improved H-1B Amendment Guidelines: The proposed rule will offer further clarification on job changes that necessitate an amended H-1B filing.
  5. Increased Flexibility on Employment Start Dates: Limited circumstances may allow for greater flexibility with employment start dates, although specifics are yet to be revealed.
  6. Addressing Cap-Gap Issues: Issues related to the cap-gap, which occurs between the expiration of OPT or STEM EAD and the start date of an approved H-1B, may be tackled in this rule.
The proposal, which could have significant implications for H-1B and F-1 visa programs, is still awaiting publication. Once released, there will be a 30-60 day notice-and-comment period before it becomes a final rule.

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