DHS Restores Prior H-1B Specialty Occupation Regulation

In October 2020, the Trump administration issued an interim rule to take effect on December 7, 2020, with no prior notice and comment opportunity, that substantially changed longstanding definitions of speciality occupation and qualifying job placements.  The intention was to substantially undermine the H-1B professional level visa program.

A federal court enjoined the interim rule.   On May 19, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final regulation revoking the prior administration’s interim regulation, in compliance with the federal court order.

This action restores some certainty for employers who are seeking the best talent they can find, even if they happen to be citizens of other countries who need to obtain H-1B visas to be legally employed.