A proposed regulation to “modernize” requirements and oversight in the H-1B visa program and provide additional flexibility in the F-1 student visa program has cleared review at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

  • The text of the proposed rule is not yet available, but OMB review is the last step in the regulatory process before publication.
  • According to the Department of Homeland Security, the proposed rule will:
    • Revise regulations related to the employer-employee relationship.
    • Implement new guidelines for site visits.
    • Provide flexibility on employees’ start dates in limited circumstances.
    • Address “cap-gap” issues.
    • Strengthen the registration process to reduce the possibility of misuse and fraud.
    • Clarify the requirement that an amended or new petition be filed if there are material changes.

BAL Analysis: The proposal could have broad consequences for the H-1B and F-1 visa programs; however, the text of the proposed rule has not yet been published. The proposal is expected to go through a 60-day notice-and-comment period before it is updated and published as a final rule, which will likely have a delayed effective date. It is not clear at this time whether the rule will be in place for the FY2025 cap registration season. BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group.

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