U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed Friday that the “H-1B strengthening” rule will not take effect today as scheduled, in compliance with a court order last week setting the rule aside.

Key Points:

  • The interim final rule was scheduled to take effect today and would have tightened the H-1B definitions of “specialty occupation” and “employer-employee relationship” and required more evidence for third-party placement of H-1B workers at client sites.
  • On Dec. 1, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White setting aside the rule, preventing the agency from implementing it as scheduled.

Background: USCIS published the interim final rule on Oct. 8 with an effective date of Dec. 7. The agency accepted comments from the public until Dec. 7, but in issuing an interim final rule, argued that it did not need to consider the comments before putting the rule into effect. The court found that the government did not provide a strong enough reason to issue the rule without the normal notice-and-comment period required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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