IMPACT – HIGH
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy memorandum over the weekend reversing long-standing policy that presumes the position of computer programmer to be a specialty occupation. The memorandum also signals that the agency will consider the wage level in the accompanying H-1B Labor Condition Application (LCA) to evaluate whether the position qualifies as a specialty occupation.
Background: The Trump administration had previously indicated its intention to address perceived abuses in the high-skilled visa categories. This represents the first major step toward restricting H-1B eligibility for lower-level computer professionals.
BAL Analysis: Companies filing petitions for computer programmer positions, particularly for entry-level positions, will likely see an increase in requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) Because the memorandum takes effect immediately and will apply to cap petitions that have already been filed, it is possible that the policy change will be subject to litigation. BAL is continuing to analyze the memorandum and will provide additional updates on its expected impact.
This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact BerryApplemanLeiden@bal.com.
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