The new administration's promises to change U.S. immigration policy are going into effect, changing almost every aspect of the system. One of the most recent amendments to the rules may have a significant impact on computer science workers hoping to enter the country on an H-1B visa, which is reserved for highly skilled workers in specialized fields. According to Berd & Klauss, PLLC, H-1B lawyers based in New York City, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services no longer regards computer workers as specialists in their fields.
Traditionally, any worker in a computer-related occupation has been eligible to apply for an H-1B visa, especially if they are involved in programming or development. Unfortunately, a policy memorandum issued on March 31, 2017, rescinds this guidance, making a distinction between complex, senior-level positions and those primarily involving entry-level work. In particular, the new memo takes issue with the fact that even some accomplished computer programmers do not necessarily have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Instead of assuming that computer programming is a specialty field, USCIS's rules require H-1B applicants to prove that their work constitutes a specialty application. These new rules may present significant hurdles for game designers, software engineers, and others, as well as the tech companies who wish to hire them.
Along with stricter experience requirements, the USCIS may require employees to submit lists of job duties along with their application paperwork, which may present a significant burden on smaller organizations. For help navigating the complexities of this new framework, computer workers should consult with an experienced H-1B lawyer for guidance.
As one of the area's most established and well-respected immigration law firms, Berd & Klauss, PLLC has helped countless clients from around the world get the visas they need. Learn more about non-immigrant visas online, keep up with changes to immigration law on their Facebook, or call (212) 461-7152 for a consultation with an H-1B lawyer today.