PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS ON TEMPORARY VISA PROGRAMS
Restrictions on temporary visa programs that may affect international student graduates are being proposed by the current administration and may be expected soon. The current administration is proposing to restrict H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 status among other non-immigrant visa categories.
Immigration advocacy groups continue to contend that this proposed measure will harm, not help, the national economy.
Under the proposed rule, there are a few items that are worth mentioning and are as follows:
OPT STEM extensions and H4
Generally, OPT is granted for approximately 12 months and STEM extensions are granted typically for an additional 24 months. This administration is proposing to suspend H1B OPT STEM extensions and related H4 visas.
Secondly, the administration is attempting to heighten scrutiny on all initial and pending H1B filings in general, focusing on the definition of “highly skilled professional” to filter cases out of their caseload.
H4 EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION
Thirdly, the administration seeks to rescind existing and suspend initial H4 employment authorizations for all dependent applicants.
H1B FEE INCREASE
There is a rumor that the Employer Fees for Individual H1B Petitions will increase to $50K.
THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGE IS NOT FINALIZED
This proposed rule change will likely be made available and open for public comments in July 2020, for a projected implementation of Winter 2020. It is worth mentioning that the proposal is contingent upon the current administration remaining in office for an additional 4 year term, federal lawsuits by immigration advocacy groups upon rule implementation, and other factors.
Buda Law Group will continue to follow this issue and provide updates as soon as they become available. In the meantime, if you have employees who are abroad with currently valid non-immigrant visas, consider bringing them back to the United States sooner rather than later. Please contact Buda Law Group with any questions.