USCIS Interim Final Rule Revising Definition of “Specialty Occupation”

An advance copy was made available of a USCIS interim final rule (IFR) that revises the definition of the term “specialty occupation” and makes other changes to the H-1B regulations. The USCIS IFR will be published this Thursday, October 8, 2020, and will be effective 60 days after publication (December 7, 2020). Comments on the IFR will be accepted for 60 days after publication and comments on associated form changes will be accepted for 30 days after publication. See DHS’s press release on the IFR.

The new rule will:

  • Narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system;
  • Require companies to make “real” offers to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American worker; and,
  • Enhance DHS’s ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during, and after an H1-B petition is approved.

Department of Labor (DOL) also made available an interim final rule (IFR) amending the regulations governing permanent labor certifications and Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) to incorporate changes to the computation of prevailing wage levels. The IFR will be published on October 8, 2020, and will be effective on the date of publication.

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