Did you know that there have been some changes proposed in the H-1B program by the Department of Homeland Security?
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offered to introduce some modernization to the H-1B program on September 19. It’s an objective they have been pursuing for years through the rulemaking process. Recently, A proposed rule was submitted by DHS to the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) titled “Modernizing H-1B Requirements and Oversight and Providing Flexibility in the F-1 Program.” the changes in the H-1B and F-1 program will be made by the proposed rule. However, the text has been kept confidential. These changes will be important for employers hiring H-1B workers and F-1 students.
The public has been given a summary of the proposed rule, which outlines the following actions that the rule would take.
- To offer start-up entrepreneurs some flexibility, the rule will revise the definition of the term “employer-employee relationship.”
- Enforces modern guidelines for H-1B site visits, especially for situations where H-1B dependent employers file petitions.
- Offers the option of a flexible start date for H-1B employment.
- Acknowledges status cap-gap issues for F-1 to H-1B change.
- To put an end to fraud and misuse, it strengthens the H-1B registration.
- Provide clarity when filling out an amended or new petition in case there are any big changes when it comes to the terms and conditions of the H-1B employment.
- Once the reviewing is done by OMB, the Federal Register will have the published proposed rule. A notice and comment period of 30, 45, or 60 days will be there in which comments by the public may be submitted to OMB.
After the submission, the public comments will be reviewed by the public. Depending on the number of comments received, there may be a delay in the publication of the final rule. The comments will also decide if there are any revisions required to the proposed rule.
Even though the DHS said that it would prefer the new rules to be effective by the end of 2023, the date may depend on the new forms, and changes to the USCIS Policy Manual will be required for drafting. Also, there may be legal challenges faced by the proposed rule in federal court. Taking this, it is more likely that the final rule will not be implemented until mid-2024.
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