On October 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) to be published on October 8, 2020 and to take effect on December 7, 2020. The rule revises regulations regarding the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program. The rule’s changes to the H-1B program restrict eligibility for the program in several ways, including revising the definition of H-1B specialty occupation to include the requirement of a specific relationship between the required degree field(s) and the duties of the offered position. The rule also restores the requirement that employers provide contracts, work orders, itineraries or similar evidence to prove employer-employee relationship when sending H-1B workers to third party worksites. This requirement was defeated in federal court, and earlier this year DHS retracted its memo enforcing this requirement for third party placements, but this rule restores this requirement. The rule reduces the current three-year maximum validity period to one year. It also augments DHS’ power to determine compliance with worksite inspections and to oversee compliance before, during, and after an H-1B petition is approved. Inspections may be conducted at an employer’s headquarters, satellite locations, and work sites, including third-party worksites. USCIS will have the authority to deny or revoke H-1B petitions if it determines the employer or third party fails or refuses to cooperate with site visits.

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