2020 H-1B Visa Program: Department of Homeland Security Proposing Amendments
The 2020 H-1B Visa Program may receive further amendments. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a rule in September for the White House to review. This rule has been published in several agendas from Fall 2017 through Spring 2020. The rule pertains to several aspects of the program, including:
- Definition of specialty occupation
- Employer-employee relationship
- Wages paid to H-1B visa holders
2020 H-1B Visa Program: The Basics
The FY 2021 H-1B visa lottery process opened on March 1, 2020. Many employers with job openings in specialty occupations offer H-1B visa sponsorship to foreign talent. However, there are cap limits in place for these visas. Because employers submit many thousands of petitions every year, they must plan accordingly. As such, the new amendments proposed for the 2020 H-1B visa program may not become effective until the FY 2022 H-1B visa lottery process.
For foreign talent seeking to enter the United States through the H-1B visa program, there are several requirements for their employer to follow, including:
- Obtain and review Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
- Complete and sign Form I-129
- Pay any applicable filing fees
- Provide the necessary evidence and supporting documentation
Note: Foreign nationals may stay in the United States up to three years using their H-1B visa. However, subsequent renewals may not allow them to exceed a total stay of six years (with limited exceptions).
Reason for Amendments to the 2020 H-1B Visa Program
The title of the rule is “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program.” According to the description of the rule, DHS is revising definitions and imposing new requirements to ensure a number of objectives:
- Strengthen the program to obtain the “best and brightest” foreign talent
- Protect U.S. workers and wages
- Ensure employers pay visa holders appropriate wages
What Does This Mean for Employers?
Employers should follow the progress of this rule. Following the White House review, DHS may release the regulation to the public for comments. However, it may also be published as an “interim-final rule.” As a result, this may allow it to be immediately effective without public comment.
Changes to the definition of specialty occupations may have a direct impact on an employer’s talent acquisition programs relating to the 2020 H-1B visa program. Also, any changes relating to the employer-employee relationship or wages paid to H-1B via holders should be thoroughly reviewed to ensure compliance.
Where Can Your Company Get Help With Your 2020 H-1B Visa Program?
Global Mobility Solutions has a team of global relocation experts who can help your company understand how amendments to the 2020 H-1B visa program may impact talent acquisition and relocation programs. Our team’s knowledge and access to visa and immigration resources is unparalleled in the industry. We have helped thousands of companies with the H-1B visa lottery process reach successful results.
Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients prepare for the annual H-1B visa lottery. Our team can help your company understand how to adjust your programs for the proposed amendments to the 2020 H-1B visa program.
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New SafeRelo™ COVID-19 Knowledge Portal
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Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s need relating to the 2020 H-1B visa program, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.