Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

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Trump Government fall agenda revisits plans to tighten H-1B rules

2 min read
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H-1B Rules: With just six weeks left for President-elect Joe Biden to step into the White House. The Trump government continues to move forward with its immigration plans which, if executed, would make it challenging to recruit H-1B workers owing to significant hikes in wages and narrower eligibility standards.

Despite courts putting aside the previous guidelines covering these issues (earlier introduced via a fast-track mode). The Trump government proposes to once again introduce them.

The plans that were delivered suggest that the federal agencies plan to attempt, finalize and implement some of Trump’s longstanding immigration needs, before the Biden administration is introduced on 20th January 2021. It is hazy whether they would have the option to do as such. Mitch Wexler, a California-based partner at Fragomen, a worldwide immigration law office, told TOI.

The Department of homeland security has on its plan a proposal to change the definition of a specialty occupation. To increase focus on getting the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B program.

Additionally, it proposes to change the definition of the employer and the employer-employee relationship. Along with different changes to improve the integrity of the H-1B non-immigrant program, and to better secure American worker’s wages.

Trump Plans To Tighten H-1B Rules

It could be reviewed that this proposal was before introduced on October 8 as an interim final rule and was to be effective from December 7th, 2020. As the process of considering public comments before implementation was not followed. The rule was set aside by a US district court.

The DHS is probably going to look to remedy this defect by considering the public comments received after October 8. And then giving the rule as ‘last’ in the coming weeks, Wexler said.

Wexler added that the department of labor’s interim final rule that significantly hiked wages. With impact from October 8, is also on the regulatory plan, despite being set aside by a federal district court.

As reported by TOI, based on the court decisions, a couple of days back, DOL had repealed its interim final rule.

[Federal Immigration Agencies Release Fall 2020 Regulatory Agendas]

Both the guidelines are expected to be published as final rules shortly. However, it is unclear whether they would become effective before the Biden government is in place. Litigation would once again follow, once these rules are issued, say immigration experts.

If the Trump administration figures out how to once again introduce and execute these two rules. It would significantly affect Indians who establish the largest chunk of beneficiaries of H-1B visas. The fall plan also proceeds with the plan to revoke the program that allows certain categories of spouses of H-1B visa holders to apply for employment approval.

This is expected to be published as a ‘proposed guideline’ by December end and all things considered. The Biden government may not take the new proposal forward.

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