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New Rules Narrow Eligibility and Raise Minimum Wage Requirements for H-1B Workers and Other Professionals

Kauff McGuire and Margolis LLP
New York, NY
October 7, 2020

On October 7th the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) will publish two new rules with the intent to limit eligibility for H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 workers, as well as for employment-based immigrant visa (green card) applicants. 

The DHS rule, which would narrow the definition of “specialty occupation,” is an interim final rule that is set to take effect in 60 days. Details regarding the DHS rule are forthcoming.

The DOL rule, which takes effect October 8, 2020, will dramatically increase the minimum wages that must be paid to H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 and I-140 applicants. All prevailing wage levels are scheduled to increase – in many instances beyond the median wage levels paid to US workers. 

Although it is likely that both rules will be challenged in court, the DOL rule will take effect on October 8 and is likely to be in effect for some time before any potential litigation reaches the courts.