USCIS has clarified which ‘Specialty Occupations’ are eligible for H-1B visas in response to a lawsuit challenging Trump-era restrictions imposed on hiring foreign workers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently added a footnote on occupations that “usually” require a bachelor’s degree. That footnote reads:
“Normally,’ ‘common,’ and ‘usually’ are interpreted based on their plain language, dictionary definitions. They are not interpreted to mean ‘always.’”
As technology advances and changes, sometimes highly skilled, advanced technical jobs do not require a degree. As a result of the Trump-era interpretation of the visa requirements, more skilled specialty occupation workers were denied visas because they did not have a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, the previous interpretation had been that a degree was usually, but not always, required.
The new footnote clarifies that the individual does not always require a degree for Specialty Occupation H-1B visas.
The USCIS website says occupation in the H-1B category requires:
“Theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge; and Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”
Godoy Immigration Law Office has offices in Oak Brook, Illinois, and works with clients nationwide. Led by immigration attorney Mario Godoy, we help family-based and employment-based individuals who want to come to the United States to live and work temporarily or permanently. Contact Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322.