The proposed regulatory agenda for business immigration in 2020 includes:
- Re-defining the term “specialty occupation” to continue to narrow the occupations that qualify for H-1B visas. The target date for this proposal is spring 2020.
- Extension of the 15-day premium processing timeline from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.
- Elimination of the ability of H-4 spouses to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD). The target date for this proposal is March 2020. Employers employing H-4 EAD workers should explore alternative work authorization options, such as an H-1B filing in 2020.
- Increased vetting for L-1 executives, managers, and specialized workers intracompany transferees. The denial rate for L visas at certain consular posts in India has been reported as 70%
- Narrowing the options for OPT (optional practical training) for foreign students.
The rule proposal states: “ICE [Immigration and Custom Enforcement] will amend existing regulations and revise the practical training options available to nonimmigrant students on F and M visas.” The target date for this proposal is August 2020.