More curbs on H1-B & L-1 visas likely as US Homeland seeks to tweak norms

Representative image
To protect the interests of American workers, US may soon put further curbs on H1-B and L-1 work visas. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to revise the definition of specialty occupation to “increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H1-B program,” a news report in The Economic Times said.

The changes may see the introduction of additional requirements to ensure employers pay appropriate wages to H1-B visa holders. 

The changes have been proposed under the Fall 2019 Unified Agenda that provides a roadmap of planned federal rule-making across agencies.

A similar set of changes has also been proposed for L-1 visas, used in intra-company transfers. In addition, the DHS has suggested that the ban on the work authorization for spouses of H1-B visa holders should be implemented by March next year.

"The purpose of these changes is to ensure that H1-B visas are awarded only to individuals who will be working in a job which meets the statutory definition of specialty occupation,” the DHS said. “In addition, these changes are intended to ensure that the H1-B programme supplements the US workforce and strengthens US worker protections."

DHS has proposed a target of December 2019 and September 2020 respectively to publish the rule for the H1-B and L-1 visa changes. 

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel