The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is making changes to the H-1b category. The new rule is expected to redefine the H-1B employer-employee relationship and provide flexibility for start-up entrepreneurs, establish regulations and guidelines for the longstanding Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) site visit program and further clarify cap-gap benefits for F-1 students awaiting a change of status to H-1B.
The agency also intends to provide some flexibility concerning employment start dates listed on petitions. An important aspect to be addressed by DHS is when a material change to H-1B employment occurs, necessitating an amended petition; and streamline the required notification to USCIS when an H-1B employee changes to a new worksite location. The regulation is also expected to increase anti-fraud safeguards in the H-1B regulations
USCIS ALSO has plans to propose amendments to the L-1 regulations that would revise the definition of specialized knowledge, clarify the definition of “employment” and “employer-employee relationship,” and potentially impose wage requirements in the L-1 category. No long-term target date has been set for this L-1 rule.
and AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT..
Waiver of in-person requirements for immigrant visas
The State Department also plans to issue a rule that would permit a waiver of the requirement for immigrant visa applicants to appear before a consular officer to be interviewed and to execute their application in person. Details of the rule, including parameters of waiver eligibility, are not available at this time. The rule is slated for publication in April 2023.
The State Department has removed from its agenda a Trump-era rule that would have eliminated the B-1 in lieu of H-1B and H-3 visa categories. The rule had been published in 2020 but a final rule did not follow. The State Department indicated that the agency was reconsidering issuance of the rule entirely. Since the rule does not appear on either the State Department’s Fall 2022 main or long-term agendas, the agency appears to have abandoned the rule for the time being.