USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security have submitted an Interim Final Rule with request for comments, to go into effect December 7, 2020 which will restrict H-1B visa eligibility. This rule will codify the USCIS approval trends we have been seeing since 2017.
This rule changes the definitions of specialty occupation and United States employer, and adds the two new definitions of worksite and third party worksite. These definitions impact H-1B eligibility requirements regarding the job qualifying as a specialty occupation, and the situation qualifying as an employer-employee relationship. You can view the rule and read the changes, definitions and requirements in detail here.
The major changes to specialty occupation will require petitioners to show that the position requires a US bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialty specific to the H-1B job as a minimum requirement for entry into the job. The rule states that for a job to qualify as a specialty occupation, it must meet one of the following requirements:
“(1) A U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree in a directly related specific specialty, or its equivalent, is the minimum requirement for entry into the particular occupation in which the beneficiary will be employed; (2) A U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree in a directly related specific specialty, or its equivalent is the minimum requirement for entry into parallel positions at similar organizations in the employer’s United States industry; (3) The employer has an established practice of requiring a U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree in a directly related specific specialty, or its equivalent, for the position. The petitioner must also establish that the proffered position requires such a directly related specialty degree, or its equivalent, to perform its duties; or (4) The specific duties of the proffered position are so specialized, or unique that they can only be performed by an individual with a U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree in a directly related specific specialty, or its equivalent.”
Our suggestion is to go for at least two! Cover your bases and you will reduce your chances of running into trouble with adjudication. We recommend a detailed breakdown of the duties and responsibilities of the position alongside the specific skills and knowledge gained through completion of the required degree that will be theoretically and practically applied. The best way to do this is through an expert opinion letter written by an expert in the field of the H-1B job with extensive experience working in the field, in positions of leadership wherein they made hiring decisions. Your job is to provide the expert with as much information as possible regarding the position and the employer, and their job is to validate that the job does in fact require skills and knowledge acquired through completion of the required degree.
At CCI TheDegreePeople.com we work with experts in all H-1B fields that have at least a decade of experience working in the field and making hiring decisions regarding H-1B eligible positions. With their expert opinion letters, we have been able to prevent specialty occupation issues by including the expert letter in the initial petition. We have also been able to answer specialty occupation RFEs utilizing these letters with a 96% success rate.
Let us help you navigate specialty occupation issues with regards to USICS’ new rule. It is likely to be challenged in court, but if the objective is to get your H-1B employee to work by the start date, this is likely not an option for your organization, firm, or company. Visit www.ccifree.com for a free review of your case. We will respond