U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reinstated its pre-2017 policy of presuming the position of computer programmer to be a specialty occupation.

Key Points:

  • In 2017, USCIS issued a policy memorandum reversing a long-standing policy that presumed the role of computer programmer to be a specialty occupation.
  • On Wednesday, USCIS rescinded the 2017 memorandum, reinstating the previous policy. Effective immediately, USCIS officers are instructed not to apply the 2017 memorandum to any pending or new H-1B petitions, including motions on and appeals of revocations and denials of H-1B classification.
  • The agency is expected to issue further guidance.

Additional Information: In rescinding the 2017 memo, USCIS cited a Dec. 16, 2020, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in which the court overturned USCIS’s denial of an H-1B visa petition, noting that USCIS’s denial followed the logic of the 2017 memo. USCIS said Wednesday it is rescinding the 2017 memo in “order to ensure consistent adjudications across the H-1B program.”

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

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