5 Biggest H1B Visa Changes Proposed By US Govt: Remote Work, Entrepreneur-Friendly, No Multiple Visa Applications & More


Radhika Kajarekar

Radhika Kajarekar

Oct 25, 2023


The H-1B visa program has been a cornerstone of U.S. immigration, particularly for skilled professionals and international students. 

5 Biggest H1B Visa Changes Proposed By US Govt: Remote Work, Entrepreneur-Friendly, No Multiple Visa Applications & More

Recently, the Biden administration introduced a set of changes to the program aimed at enhancing its integrity and adaptability to the changing needs of the American workforce. 

Proposed Changes To H1B Visa Regulations

One significant change is the removal of multiple entries by employers for the same employee. In 2023, more than half of the roughly 800,000 H-1B registrations were multiple entries, artificially inflating the chances of some applicants. To counter this, each employee can now be registered only once, with employers required to submit passport information for each employee. This ensures a fair selection process, and any attempts to bypass this rule will result in denials or revocations.

The previous requirement for an “employer-employee” relationship, instituted in 2010, has been a major hurdle for entrepreneurs seeking H-1B visas through their own companies. The new rule eliminates this requirement, making it easier for business owners, even if they own over 50% of the company, to use the H-1B program.

Acknowledging the post-pandemic work landscape, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now recognizes that a genuine job offer can include telework, remote work, or off-site work within the United States. This change aligns with the widespread adoption of remote work arrangements.

A significant win for international students is the extension of the “cap-gap” provision. In the previous system, F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) could only be extended until October 1st. With the proposed rule, students can extend it until April 1st of the following year or until they receive their H-1B visa, whichever comes first.

USCIS To Conduct Stricter and Frequent Site Visits

To combat fraud, particularly in the IT consulting sector, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct more and stricter site visits. Inspectors may visit unannounced, interview officials, review records, and speak with employees to ensure employers’ compliance with H-1B program requirements.

Another notable change is the stricter definition of a “specialty occupation.” Under the new rule, there must be a direct connection between the required degree field and the position’s duties. This could potentially lead to more Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and denials for deserving candidates.

It’s important to note that these proposed changes are not final and are currently open for public comment until December 22, 2023. After this period, the Department of Homeland Security will review the feedback and aim to publish a final rule, expected in 2024. This represents a crucial moment for anyone interested in the H-1B program to voice their opinions and contribute to the reform efforts.


Radhika Kajarekar
Radhika Kajarekar
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