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A proposed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule clarifying which jobs qualify for high-skilled H-1B visas and defining an employment relationship is under final review in the White House.

DHS submitted the rule to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on September 3, 2020 for final review. The rule will amend the list of jobs that qualify for high-skilled H-1B visas. It will also modify how US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines an employment relationship. Specifically, the rule will clarify the definition of an H-1B visa specialty occupation, and it will define the role of an employee-employee relationship within the H-1B visa program. Along with modifying definitions, the proposed rule will also require employers to compensate H-1B visa holders with appropriate wages.

Along with clarifying certain definitions, DHS is also proposing work permit changes. The agency’s proposal would eliminate employment authorization eligibility for certain individuals who have final orders of removal, but who have been temporarily released from custody on an order of supervision. Some exceptions will apply. Additionally, DHS is proposing changes to eligibility and the factors it will consider when adjudicating work authorization applications from individuals who have committed violent or dangerous crimes, along with individuals who have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

The rule’s review in the White House is the final step required before the regulation is released for public comment. DHS has not yet announced when the proposed rules will be published.

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