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H-1B Visa Program Overhaul Undergoing White House Rule Review

Regulations to modernize the H-1B visa program, including a revamp of the annual lottery for the specialty occupation visas, are under review at the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Proposed regulations (RIN: 1615-AC70) released last year would aim to weed out abuse of the lottery system by basing selection of registrations on unique workers, rather than the number of entries submitted on their behalf.

H-1B visas, which are in especially high demand in computer and tech-related industries, are limited by a statutory cap to 85,000 new slots each year by a statutory cap.

The proposal also would toughen compliance requirements for work-site visits, and extend flexibility for entrepreneurs launching start-up businesses, among other provisions.

Responses submitted during a public comment period on the proposal that closed Dec. 22 warned that a provision defining criteria for “specialty occupations” would risk undermining the Biden administration’s goals for the development of Artificial Intelligence technology.

OIRA received the final rule from US Citizenship and Immigration Services Jan. 12, according to the agency’s website. White House clearance is the last regulatory step before the rule can be issued in the Federal Register.

Read More: Bloomberglaw

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