Biden Administration scraps the Trump H-1B visa rule

The Biden Administration has scrapped the H-1B visa rule changes made by the Trump administration in October 2020 and gave a huge relief to Indian IT companies and techies.

Those H-1B Visa Rule changes never took effect due to a federal court ruling, but now the US government has officially revoked it and restored long-standing H-1B eligibility criteria.

The new H-1B visa rules proposed by the Trump administration would have revised the term ‘speciality occupation,’ placed new restrictions on recruiting H-1B workers at third-party sites, and reinstated contract and itinerary requirements. In addition, the recent changes would result in significantly higher costs for Indian IT companies, as a rule, has restructured the existing wage system for H-1B visas.

The US homeland Security Department has officially vacated a rule that would have redefined the H-1B speciality occupation, restricted offsite placement of H-1B employees, and otherwise increased employer compliance obligations.

By restoring the prior regulatory language, the Homeland security department is putting to rest the Trump-brought regulations. However, the Biden Admin can propose new regulatory changes to the H-1B in the future, said US Immigration Law firm Fragomen.

According to a report by ICRA, H-1B visa rule changes would have declined profit margins of Indian IT companies by 5.8 per cent and impacted most of the mid-tied players in the IT industry. In addition, changes in wage rule would have caused a 20 to 30 per cent rise in wage costs.

Poorvi Chothani, the founder of immigration law firm LawQuest, said, “For an H-1B visa holder, the occupation must be a speciality occupation which means the skills for that job require a bachelor level of education. As a result, IT jobs were often challenged, stating the education criteria of degree. This H-1B visa rule changes will reduce these challenges.”

Hospitality Sector, Arts and design industry, and IT sector will gain from the scrapping of these rules.

Sonam Chandwani, the Managing Partner at KS Legal & Associates, said, “The Trump Admin threatened the American dream of many Indians. Therefore, this H-1B visa rule change will certainly please the Indian IT companies.”

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