Department of Homeland Security/USCIS Updates on H-1B Visa Program

Department of Homeland Security/USCIS Releases Updated Regulatory Agenda

This week, DHS/USCIS published the Fall 2021 Regulatory Agenda which forecasts into spring 2022 the agencies’ expected release date of proposed regulations. The Biden Administration’s USCIS planned to publish notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in November/December 2021; these NPRMs are now expected late Spring 2022. The TechServe Alliance Government Affairs Team continues to follow several NPRMs of concern to our member companies:

This NPRM would amend regulations governing H-1B specialty occupation workers and F-1 students who are beneficiaries of timely filed H-1B cap-subject petitions, including revising the definition of employee-employer relationship; implementing new guidelines for site-visits and compliance, especially regarding petitions filed by H-1B dependent employers; providing flexibility for start dates; addressing cap-gap issues; improving registration processes to reduce misuse and fraud; and clarifying when amended or new petitions must be filed, including those related to certain worksite changes.

This NPRM would adjust USCIS fees for immigration and naturalization requests. A rule established in August 2020 was blocked by a federal court in September 2020. A new rule would rescind and replace the August 2020 rule and establish new rules and fees to recoup USCIS operating costs.

USCIS Announces FY 2021 Accomplishments

On December 16, USCIS shared with stakeholders and the public the agency’s 2021 preliminary statistics and accomplishments. Several statistics and accomplishments are of interest or concern to TechServe Alliance members including continued processing delays; good news about a significant increase in employment-based adjustments; and agency prioritization to digitize paper applications and adjudications. A final report will be issued in January. Read more  . . .

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